Jan Vleighe

The newest member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Gertjan "Jan" Vlieghe, has said that only improved growth in the economy and wages will persuade him to vote for a rise in interest rates.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Mr Vlieghe, who joined the MPC in September, said he wants economic growth to "stabilise, or even pick up a bit" and a clear "direction of travel" in terms of wage growth.

Interest rates have been at the record low of 0.5% since March 2009. The MPC sets interest rates to keep inflation around its target of 2%. But inflation has fallen below that target for around two years, and has now been floating around 0% for several months.

Echoing suggestions that low interest rates would become 'the new normal', Mr Vlieghe said that he expects rising consumer debt to keep interest rates relatively low for a sustained period. He also said that he is "relaxed" about waiting to raise interest rates.