Category Archives: Inflation

Want to know the real reason for inflation? TAX

HMRC: if you’re rich, you don’t have to pay your taxes and probably won’t be investigated for it – but if you’re poor you can guarantee they’ll come after you for the tiniest amounts.

Does the UK have the worst tax collection system in the world?

It would explain our recent inflation problem – with huge amounts of public money going to the rich (for nothing), who aren’t paying tax back on it.

Taxation limits inflation by taking money out of the economy to balance the amounts being put in by government spending plans every year.

If HM Revenue and Customs doesn’t bother to tax the people who pay the largest amounts, then the economy is flooded with too much money and inflation rises. Right?

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Now we find that HM Revenue and Customs aren’t even bothing to investigate rich tax dodgers any more:

This is from the Guardian article:

The number of civil investigation cases opened by a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) fraud unit investigating offshore, corporate and wealthy taxpayers has fallen by more than half in five years, figures reveal.

The Observer reported last month that HMRC has not charged a single company under landmark legislation to crack down on tax evasion. Campaigners warned that HMRC was undermining its own deterrents by failing to use its criminal enforcement powers.

The new figures, obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, suggest that the tax authority’s civil enforcement in its fraud investigation service has also declined alongside its use of criminal powers.

Civil investigations opened by the offshore, corporate and wealthy unit, part of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, fell from 1,417 in 2018-19 to 627 in 2022-23.

Civil inquiries and investigations declined sharply in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted HMRC’s enforcement activity. But despite a significant rise last year, the number of cases remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

The number of civil cases that were formally opened by the fraud investigation service, which can examine the tax affairs of any taxpayer, fell by 28% in the same period, from 17,424 from 2018/19 to 12,585 in 2022/23.

The article also states that HMRC says its fraud investigation service is focusing on the highest-value tax fraud and the figures do not take account of overall compliance activity, with 300,000 compliance “interventions” opened in 2022-23, securing £34bn in additional tax revenue.

HMRC says that since 2018-19 it has opened more than 1.5m compliance interventions, securing £136bn. HMRC says work is continuing on estimating figures for the offshore tax gap.

But here’s the catch: the vast bulk of this “compliance activity” is focused on the poor, not the rich – because if you’re poor, you’re easy pickings and won’t put up much of a fight when money is taken off you by the government. Am I right?

Is it good government? Or is it gangsterism?


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Politicians are hell-bent on pushing us to fascism. Let Gary explain how to stop it.

After a six month hiatus, Gary Stevenson is back with a video clip discussing what has happened in the UK during that period. And it isn’t good.

Inflation is down. He explains why the Tories should take no credit for it.

Interest rates will start to fall, following inflation.

House prices, after rising during the Covid crisis, have not come down again – and Gary explains that this is because the rich have accumulated an enormous amount of money over the period since early 2020. They have used it to buy houses without mortgages, which is why prices have not fallen. And with high interest rates, their savings accounts are growing massively.

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As interest rates fall, rich people will invest their savings in buying houses, and this means prices will rise again.

Living standards have fallen with the rapid rise of inequality that came with the transfer of huge amounts of cash to the rich. Rents, the price of goods and the price of holidays will also increase. Young people will be very strongly harmed by these developments.

With living standards falling, and no political party in the UK serious about reducing inequality, people will be dissatisfied – whichever party is in office. People will want an alternative, and the populist far right is poised to promise them anything they want. This is why it is so terrifying that the Tory with the safest seat is Kemi Badenoch.

This risk is increased by the fact that the economy is failing – no matter what Rishi Sunak and his spokespeople say.

An accelerated shift towards fascism is inevitable unless a positive alternative can be presented.

Increasing equality will improve living standards and stave off the fall into fascism.

The challenge for us now is to encourage public opinion to support such measures.


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‘Rampant profiteering’(?) as pre-Christmas food inflation remains at 9.2%

Pricey: and the problem is that the cost of food is being artificially inflated to boost the profits of producers and retailers, at a time when wages are being squeezed.

This is a little annoying; the article refers to “rampant profiteering” but doesn’t lay blame.

We may suggest it’s the supermarket chains that are profiteering – artificially inflating the price of food – because that’s where most of us buy it.

The fact is that our food costs too much – especially with pay being as brutally depressed as it has been by the Tories.

There are no solutions suggested here. What is the answer?

Official figures showed food inflation remains at a painfully high 9.2 per cent in the run-up to Christmas.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said… “Even the competition regulator now admits what Unite has said all along: that firms have been exploiting the cost-of-living crisis to raise prices excessively.

“It’s time the government and Bank of England tackled the rampant profiteering in our economy to get inflation under control.”

Source: Unions call for end of ‘rampant profiteering’ as pre-Christmas food inflation remains at 9.2% | Morning Star

Greedflation: study shows prices ‘significantly’ bloated by profiteering

French stormed the Paris stock exchange in protest at greedflation: the British just put up with it like sheep.

Remember when the Tories were telling us we couldn’t have pay rises because that would push inflation up – and This Site (among others) said it was a lie?

Turns out we were right:

Profiteering has played a significant role in boosting inflation during 2022, according to a report that calls for a global corporation tax to curb excess profits.

Analysis of the financial accounts of many of the UK’s biggest businesses found that profits far outpaced increases in costs, helping to push up inflation last year to levels not seen since the early 1980s.

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The report from the IPPR and Common Wealth thinktanks found that business profits rose by 30% among UK-listed firms, driven by just 11% of firms that made super-profits based on their ability to push through stellar price increases – often dubbed greedflation.

The article lists the worst offenders and explains why they got away with it:

Among the companies that increased their profits most from the pre-pandemic average were:

  • ExxonMobil: profits of £15bn increased to £53bn

  • Shell: £16bn up to £44bn

  • Glencore: £1.9 bn up to £14.8bn

  • Archer-Daniels-Midland: £1.4bn up to £3.16bn

  • Kraft Heinz: £265m up to £1.8bn

Four food companies – the listed suppliers Archer-Daniels-Midland and Bunge, plus the privately owned Cargill and Dreyfus – control an estimated 70%–90% of the world grain market.

Instead of doing something to curb this rampant profiteering – at huge expense to you, remember – your politicians shrugged and told you your demand for higher pay to cope with these price increases would cause them to rise even more.

Remember that, at the next election. Or are you happy to be hammered in the same way for another five years? Nobody could be that stupid, could they?

Source: Greedflation: corporate profiteering ‘significantly’ boosted global prices, study shows | Inflation | The Guardian


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Tories announce ‘biggest cut in net migration’ and we’re punching holes in their plan

Rishi Sunak and his priorities: who would have thought that stopping the boats would contradict his plan to reduce inflation?

The following is misleading.

If you’re announcing a plan to cut net migration into the UK, then it hasn’t happened yet. The following tweet is therefore misleading.

There’s no way of telling whether these measures will actually bring inward migration down.

Also, there’s the issue of unforeseen consequences.

First, here’s another misleading message from Rishi Sunak. See my response to understand why it’s wrong:

Again, to remind you: The treaty with Rwanda that James Cleverly was sent to sign has nothing to do with stopping criminal gangs from transporting refugees (or whoever) across the English Channel.

It is merely an attempt to bypass the Supreme Court’s ruling that Rwanda is not a safe place to send them once they have arrived in the UK.

Now, about those unforeseen consequences…

When Sunak says he will “end abuse via the Health and Care Visa, he means he will prevent care workers moving to the UK for employment from bringing their families. This will also apply to overseas students.

This will turn away expertise that the UK needs.

Tory voices like that of Brendan Clarke-Smith are already whispering that foreign workers will still come, because the UK is “a fantastic country”:

Is it?

It seems unlikely that highly-qualified people, who could earn a better living anywhere else in the world, would willingly give up their kith and kin to work in a country that will not appreciate their efforts and that – certainly in the case of health and care – treats its own people so badly.

No worries, though! Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick reckons workers from the UK will fill the gaps:

He said UK businesses would no longer have the option of hiring cheap labour from overseas, meaning they would have to “invest in the domestic workforce”.

Why should they?

Big businesses are more likely to preserve their profits by moving out of the UK altogether and hiring all that cheap foreign labour abroad, where it’s still cheap.

And small or medium-sized enterprises are not likely to be able to afford the kind of investment Jenrick is suggesting.

He went on to appear on Sky News, supporting the remaining point in the five-point plan – ensuring that people sponsoring dependents, who do come with them to the UK, can support them financially:

So the overall implication of this plan is that it is an attempt to nudge businesses into paying higher salaries to people working in the UK.

This appears to be an attempt to steal a policy from Reform UK, whose leader Richard Tice had already spoken in favour of higher wages and investment in people:

Opinion polls have suggested that right-wing voters are, themselves, migrating – from the Tories to Reform UK. This anti-immigration policy may be an attempt to woo them back.

But – perhaps crucially – this is a policy turnaround for the Tories, who have previously argued that increased pay for working people is inflationary:

TL;DR: this supposedly anti-immigration policy seems to be intended more as a way of stemming the flow of voters to Reform UK. Its stated aim of increasing pay contradicts Tory policy on inflation and is more likely to move businesses out of the UK than bring investment in.

Tories say they’ve halved inflation. They haven’t

Grinning idiots: Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt, who falsely claimed that cutting inflation is cutting tax and giving people more money to spend, are now falsely claiming that they have managed to cut inflation down to their target. They did nothing.

A friend of This Writer emailed me today to forward a communication he had received from the Conservative government – saying it has achieved its aim of halving inflation.

It hasn’t.

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Inflation was always going to come down – and some have pointed it out, although I’m not sure where the community note on ‘X’ has gone, that is mentioned in the following post:

[Additional – November 16, 2023: I’ve found a post with the community note added to it and have added it into the article immediately below.]

Not only that, but halving inflation is not the huge help to the public that Rishi Sunak and his cadre claim it is:

The example in the TUC’s post is informative because food inflation is still higher than 10 per cent. Gareth Davies, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, was called out on it by Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain:

The verdict:

The Tories are trumpeting a change they have done nothing to achieve, that is not helping you at all. Don’t be fooled.


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These Conservatives are telling us they do not understand inflation

Grinning idiots: Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have both falsely claimed that cutting inflation is cutting tax and giving people more money to spend. THIS IS A LIE.

Both the UK’s prime minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer are economically illiterate and do not know that cutting inflation does not put any money back into the pockets of the poor.

Both Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have gone on the record, referring to inflation as a tax. It is not.

Either they are lying or they are too stupid to understand that they are wrong.

Cutting inflation does not reduce the amount of money people are having to pay for goods and services – those prices still rise, but just not as fast.

So when this happens…

… the prime minister of the United Kingdom is lying directly to the public.

Here are clips of Sunak and Hunt telling this lie to you, the public, along with a snippet of argument explaining why their claim is wrong:

(The point is that inflation may act as a tax when it increases but the amount of money you are paying does not reduce when inflation does, as it would if a tax was cut.)

Of course the other branch of this is the claim that the Conservatives have actually done any work to reduce inflation. They haven’t.

Inflation was always going to come down from the historic highs it hit a year or so ago. Those were caused by situations in foreign countries that caused shortages of energy and food, raising their prices.

Those shortages have now largely been resolved, but the price rises have been cemented into our lives. The reason inflation has fallen is that it is a current figure, representing the amount prices have risen over a particular length of time. After a year, price rises drop off all the current inflation figures.

So: inflation is not a tax and its fall does not put more money in your pocket, and the Conservatives have done nothing to bring it down anyway. Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have lied through their teeth at you. This is not an auspicious start to the Tory Propaganda Carnival – I mean, Party Conference.


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These new inflation figures should be awkward for the Tories

Inflation has dropped to 6.8 per cent – but this is not an endorsement of Conservative government policy.

The Tories have spent months claiming that they cannot pay the money they deserve to public sector workers (including the junior doctors who were on strike over the weekend) because it would worse inflation – but today’s fall comes alongside an increase in average pay.

Looking at the small print, we see that none of this pay rise has gone to people who actually need it; instead it has further fattened the bloated bank accounts of high-paid company executives and other friends of the Conservative government.

But that doesn’t matter; wages have increased and inflation still came down. The Tory lie has been exposed as – in the language of Peter Stefanovic – bollocks:

The clip includes a few other interesting take-outs:

Workers in the UK are £11,000 a year worse-off.

2022 was the worst year for wage growth in almost half a century.

Average real wages in the UK will still be lower in 2026 than they were in 2008.

So it is impossible for public sector wages – or any other wages paid to employees – to have had anything to do with inflation figures.

In fact, according to the extremely non-socialist International Monetary Fund, the largest contributor to Europe’s inflation over the past two years was rising corporate profits cause by companies increasing their prices by more than the costs of imported energy. Look at your own energy bill over the past few years and compare the increases with the costs of energy and you will see the factual accuracy in this.

Increases in private sector wages may increase the price of goods – because companies would factor those rises into their prices.

There is evidence of this in the new figures: strip away the cuts in energy and food costs and core inflation is one per cent higher.

But that doesn’t happen in the public sector where, for example, healthcare is free at the point of use.

And the public sector labour force is only 17 per cent of the total workforce, meaning its pay increases have a lower effect than anything happening with the 83 per cent in the private sector.

Of course, prices are still increasing, meaning that people will blame that on increasing wages and demand another interest rate rise from the Bank of England to curb spending by the little people (you and me, as opposed to the big bosses who have actually received the pay boosts).

I struggle to grasp the point of such a move as it is more likely to cause a recession than stabilise the economy. The precipitous rise in interest rates set by the Bank has not affected inflation at all, and conventional wisdom suggests we will not see the result until 18 months after the first one was imposed. With inflation already coming down of its own accord – as was widely predicted by people like economist Richard Murphy – this could be disastrous.

So when the Tories come out with outrageous nonsense like this…

… I am glad to see responses that put it into the proper perspective, like this:

Sadly, the message is unlikely to get through to the general public, thanks to the biased priorities of our right-wing social media platforms. Look at the number of views the Tory propaganda has received, in comparison with those collected by Clare’s response.

Finally: at least someone out there can laugh about it. Read this:

Sadly for the story, even though the Royals are technically working in the public sector, they are right at the top of it, so their pay rise comes in as equivalent to those of the fatcat company execs.

Still, I don’t see anyone talking about the inflationary effect of this massive increase, so it adds to the evidence that public sector pay does not affect inflation and the Tories have been feeding us bullsh*t since the public sector strikes started, if not before.

Try to remember this amid the barrage of inadequate and misleading reporting by the BBC and the rest of the Tory media.


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Are you still being fooled that wages are causing inflation? Watch this

The Bank of England: why are you letting a gang of super-rich bankers tell you it’s the pittance you take home in pay that has caused inflation when that is so obviously a lie? What are you going to do about it?

It’s self-explanatory and if you believe the Tories, the right-wing media, the bankers and all the others who have been telling you that wage rises are pushing up inflation, you need to see it. Watch:

Now you should be angry that so many people have been lying to you.

There’s something you can do about it. The same thing you’ve always been able to do.


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Rishi Sunak thinks slowing inflation means we’ll have more money. What a fool.

In an interview on LBC this week, Rishi Sunak tried to convince listeners that slowing the rate of inflation will mean people will have more money.

This is not true and never will be.

Inflation is the rate at which prices rise. If it slows down, prices are still rising.

Meanwhile, Sunak has made it perfectly clear that he opposes pay increases for those of us who need them.

So slowing the inflation rate means people will have less money.

And that’s why he’s Maximilien Robespierre‘s Fool of the Week:

If he honestly believes that tripe, he’s a fool.

If he doesn’t, and is trying to get us to believe it, he’s also a fool, because we don’t.


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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook