Inflation has hit double figures for the first time in 40 years – and this time the driver is not energy bills but the cost of staple food products.
It has soared to 10.1 per cent due to a 12 per cent increase in the cost of what most people consider staples: bread, cereal, eggs, milk and cheese. The increase in these items’ prices was three times that of their nearest rival.
The UK is currently in a “calm before the storm” moment as we await a rise of around 80 per cent in the energy price cap in October.
A drought now sweeping Europe is expected to make matters even worse, affecting trade and crop yields to push food prices up even further.
Ultimately, inflation is expected to peak at 13 per cent or more, meaning people will no longer have money to spend in the economy because their earnings will not cover the amount they will be asked to spend on necessities: housing (mortgage or rent), food, water, and power.
Without that spending, the economy will contract, and a recession lasting more than a year is currently being predicted in which many people are likely to lose their jobs – compounding the crisis even further.
These are all outcomes that the UK’s Conservative government has created.
The rise in food prices is a consequence of Brexit and increased border controls that the Tories fuelled.
The energy crisis has happened because the Tories pandered to donors from the fossil fuel industry rather than investing in green energy, generated within this country. Energy is also a natural monopoly that should never have been privatised by Margaret Thatcher.
And the water crisis is a consequence of privatising that natural monopoly. Instead of investing in improving infrastructure, greedy executives have maximised their profits with large dividend payouts, bolstered by the sale of reservoirs to foreign firms.
Both the privatised energy and water systems are majority-owned by businesses based abroad, many of them wholly-owned by foreign governments.
Or so it seems to This Writer.
Worse is the fact that the Tories are determined to deny that they did anything wrong.
And they’re absolutely refusing to accept the urgent need to re-nationalise these privatised utilities that have failed us all so badly; they are cash cows for Tory donors and the party likes their cash.
Sadly, it’s a myopic, short-term view. The economy will collapse because of it.
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