Although some financial commentators expected a rise to 4.75 per cent at some point in the year, the TUC said the increase took many by surprise and left them unprepared for the extra repayment debt each month.
Assistant general secretary of the TUC, Kay Carberry, said: “This is a double blow for working people with mortgages to pay.
An increase in the rate was voted for by the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, justifying the rise on “inflationary” pressures from fuel and house prices.
The rise will mean that mortgages and loans linked to the base rate will increase monthly repayments on debt, for which many are unprepared.
Ms Carberry slammed the rate rise, adding: “With manufacturing still struggling and unemployment creeping up the country needs interest rates to stay low.”