Higher food and energy bills have led to the fastest rise in the cost of living for 30 years. The BBC is reporting this morning:
The UK’s Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation rose to 5.4% from 5.1% in November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The last time inflation was higher was in March 1992, when it was 7.1%.
And with gas and electricity costs set to increase further soon, some analysts think it could reach that level again.
Increases in prices of furniture and clothing also contributed to December’s rise in the cost of living.
“These large rises were slightly offset by petrol prices, which despite being at record levels were stable this month, but rose this time last year,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.
The rate continues to be well above the Bank of England’s 2% inflation target.
Prices are rising exponentially. Wages are going down. Regular pay, excluding bonuses and adjusted for inflation, fell 1% in November 2021 compared with the same month in 2020.
My partner and I share the bills. I pay utilities, she does the weekly shop and so on. The weekly grocery bill has risen by around £70 in the last few months. We don’t have children and we have very little debt. We’ll manage, just.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation published its annual poverty report this week. The report, entitled UK Poverty 2022, claims that nearly 2 million children in the UK are growing up in deep poverty. https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/uk-poverty-2022
When the energy price cap rises in April, low-income households will be spending around 20 per cent of their income after housing costs on energy bills.
The amount energy companies can charge customers on certain tariffs under the government’s Energy Price Cap is predicted to go up in April by around 51%.
Years ago, the writer and public speaker David Icke talked about the coming Hunger Games society. He predicted that billions of people would be plunged into abject poverty through the deliberate collapse of the global economy. He warned that basic necessities like food, electricity and housing would become unaffordable for most. He was right.
In 2020, the average savings per person in the UK was £9,633. That’s around three or four months salary for most people. My guess is that figure has been substantially reduced over the past 18 months. Simply put, most people have very little to fall back on.
Yet, according to SKY News yesterday:
The world’s 10 richest men have seen their fortunes more than double during the coronavirus pandemic, making them richer than the world’s poorest 3.1 billion people combined, according to Oxfam.
The ranks of the super-rich have swelled during the pandemic thanks to ample financial stimulus that pumped up stocks, the anti-poverty organisation said.
“The pandemic has been a billionaire bonanza,” Oxfam International executive director Gabriela Bucher said.
“When governments did the rescue packages and pumped trillions into the economy and to financial markets in order to support the economy for all, what happened is a lot of it went into the pockets of the billionaires.”
Three of the world’s ten richest men, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, doubled their personal fortunes during the so-called pandemic. Oxfam got its information from Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth report.
I really hope that Klaus Schwab was right when he said we’d all be happy with nothing. The way things are going, we’ll know soon enough.