Tag Archives: inflation

Liz’s legacy: crashing pound and pensions, housing crisis, inflation, unemployment. What’s to be done?

Liz Truss: “Duh… what did I do?”

Economist Richard Murphy has given his verdict on the result of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s new economic direction for the UK – and it is damning.

But he has also done something far more important; he has suggested ways forward for the UK. Principal among those is making sure the Conservative Party is never allowed into power on its own again, so it can never again ruin the finances of millions of people for the benefit of a few spoilt rich kids.

It’s the first positive series of suggestions This Writer has seen.

See what you think – and be sure to send those thoughts in via the comments section:

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Bankers’ bonuses restored while your pay plummets. Did the mass media even report this?

Have you seen this on the mainstream news… anywhere?

It seems the Tory government has taken advantage of its new Brexit-given freedoms to lift a cap on bankers’ bonuses.

It’s being touted as part of a drive to return the UK to economic growth – but in reality it is nothing of the sort.

Bankers are paid a fortune already and don’t need the cash. Therefore they won’t spend it into the economy – they’ll stash it away somewhere and it won’t do anything to restore economic growth.

Also, the Bank of England has been advocating pay restraint for the rest of us – in the face of double-figure inflation – because it says pay rises in line with inflation will cause even more inflation.

Do you get the impression these people are talking out of their collective rear ends?

If a government wants to get its economy going, it has to pay money to the poorest people in the country – because they need it, and they’ll spend it. The cash will go through more hands, if it starts at the lowest level, before being taxed out of the system – and this means it will create the greatest boost to the economy, adding value with every exchange.

What’s happening here will harm the UK economy. See if I’m wrong.

Here’s the clip that inspired this article:

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Milk, cheese and egg costs push food inflation to highest point in 14 years

Is this a good time to turn vegan?

The cost of milk, cheese and eggs is soaring – which strikes This Writer as odd. Doesn’t the UK produce plenty of these foodstuffs? Aren’t we now a major exporter of cheese, thanks to Liz Truss?

Yet there seems to be a shortage and it’s being blamed on the war in Ukraine. One has to query how that will play if the current situation there continues and Russia is pushed out of that country altogether.

Meanwhile, we’re being told that headline inflation has fallen because petrol and diesel prices have fallen.

But the UK’s situation remains precarious because all these elements are dependent on situations in foreign countries that cannot be controlled here.

It casts a long shadow over the globalism that Conservatives have pushed on us since the 1980s.

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Left behind by the cost of living: what about disabled people?

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign].

Applause to The Independent for highlighting the fact that, even among the vulnerable, there are those who are more likely to lose more during the cost of living/inflation/energy crisis: principally disabled people.

Here’s the relevant part of its editorial:

It will certainly be tough for many, particularly for larger and less-well-off families in larger, older properties; for the elderly, more at risk of hypothermia and less inclined to seek the help they are entitled to; and for a group of people who are too often neglected in so many areas: those with disabilities. Once again, they hardly figure in the national debate on the cost of living crisis. And once again, they are treated as an afterthought at best.

In the case of disabled people who are in receipt of social security, the outlook is bleaker than for most of their fellow citizens. In the first place, many have a lower income simply because they cannot work as easily as others, and society often fails to make the reasonable adjustments necessary to help them to get better-paid jobs.

Second, living with disabilities has always been expensive. There are often extra costs that must be met somehow, such as buying and running special equipment that requires electricity; transportation and mobility; the larger accommodation necessary to facilitate wheelchair use. So the cost of living crisis is already disproportionately affecting households that include a disabled person.

Under the January price cap as currently estimated, 1.4 million claimants will be presented with energy bills amounting to 132 per cent of their annual benefit. Families with a disabled child will face bills equivalent to 116 per cent of their disability living allowance. These figures also understate the impact of the energy price hikes on such households, because disabled people typically have higher-than-average energy needs.

It is morally wrong that those with disabilities, whose lives (and those of their families and friends) are already more difficult, should come off worst in this crisis… By definition, people with disabilities are the most vulnerable, and they should therefore be the first in line for exceptional help.

Absolutely right. So where is it?

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Inflation: Raab gives the game away – the Tories don’t care

Clueless: Dominic Raab, doing his best Tim Nice-But-Dim impression. Oh no, wait: that’s what he’s really like (apart from the “nice” bit).

Dominic Raab was never the sharpest tool in the Tory box and now he has proved what a blunt instrument he is.

Interviewed on Channel 4, he said there was no need to do anything about the cost of living crisis, and predictions of inflation hitting 22 per cent – because it hasn’t happened yet.

What a dunce. If it happens, nothing the Tory government does will save millions of people from poverty and, in extreme cases, death.

But who cares about him? He supports Rishi Sunak to be prime minister and it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion now that he won’t be.

Instead, we’ll have Liz Truss, whose plan to sort out inflation is: tax cuts.

And all the economic experts say tax cuts won’t work.

Here’s a clip analysing the issue:

Let’s hope that, if Sunak does lose, Raab disappears into political limbo with him.

But I fear it may be a forlorn hope as he’s an old pal of Truss (they were co-authors of that nightmarish blueprint for Tory rule, Britannia Unchained).

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Why didn’t the government act on energy price cap increase earlier? It’s what we expected!

Martin Lewis: he’s been saying the government has been able to predict the rise in the energy price cap for months – so why hasn’t it acted to protect vulnerable people yet?

Here’s a good question, posed by a Facebook friend of This Writer:

“Why [announce the inflation-dictated energy price cap rise in] October? Is that because the inflation rate, by which pensions are increased the following April, is set in September?

“Whether its intended that way or not (and I’m a cynic, I’d say it is), pensioners won’t get the inflation rise caused by October’s and April’s energy price rises – until April 2024 – having to go a whole year with insufficient money.

“It might apply to other benefits too.”

Can you see anything wrong with the reasoning here – especially when we knew the rise was coming and could predict exactly what it would be.

That’s what Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis says, anyway (along with very many other pertinent points) in this clip:

So there’s no reason for the government to deprive pensioners (and possibly benefit recipients) of inflation-linked pensions and benefits – or, indeed, to have delayed mitigating measures until after a new prime minister is sworn in.

And now we know that – possibly at least in part because of this failure – the number of people in fuel poverty, spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy bills, is likely to almost double, from 4.3 million to 8.9 million within 12 months.

The price cap is now set to rise from £1,971 per year to £3,549 per year on October 1, and is projected to rise to an excruciating peak of £6,616 – almost double again what it is rising to reach in October.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has said options for further household support packages are being drawn up – but we are also expected to cut our electricity use by between 15 and 30 per cent, according to our means.

To me, this suggests that the Tories are preparing to blame members of the public if they die of cold this winter, by pretending that they didn’t cut their energy use enough.

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The economic fact that the Tories refuse to accept

I found this little video, explaining why it makes more sense economically to pay workers enough money to meet their needs and have a little extra for leisure/comfort.

It’s pretty well established by now that such pay rises don’t drive up inflation – that comes from greedy company bosses whose profit motive demands that they increase prices arbitrarily. Am I right?

With that in mind, here’s the clip:

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Tories in trouble as voters identify issues they’re ignoring as reasons to vote them out

Sunak and Truss: whoever wins the race to become prime minister will not be smiling when they have to deal with the issues that might force their government out of office – and they realise they have no answers.

Oh dear, oh dear: the Conservative Party is facing electoral collapse after people who voted Tory in 2019 identified the issues the next prime minister should tackle – and they’re mostly issues that party wants to ignore.

According to a Daily Express article, these include:

  • Inflation
  • The cost of living/energy bills
  • Delays in treatment by the National Health Service

Neither Liz Truss nor Rishi Sunak have shown much interest in any of these – having to be dragged into discussing the topics.

The only issue discussed by the voters the newspaper polled, in which the Conservatives have shown any interest, is immigration – a fake issue created by the Tory government as part of its ongoing “divide and rule” policy of presenting us all with an enemy to hate.

Sadly, they seem to have fooled a large number of people with it.

Whoever takes up the – some would say poisoned – chalice of the premiership in September, they will have to address these problems as a matter of urgency, or face the prospect of losing all the Parliamentary seats Boris Johnson won in 2019. That is a career-ending prospect.

Source: Furious Tory voters reveal key issues as party risks losing next general election

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Tories look abroad for care home staff as shortage leaves residents’ basic needs unmet

Help! One can imagine the person inside the care home saying that to their relatives.

Tory Health Secretary Steve Barclay is looking abroad for employees to plug the gaps in care home staffing. Didn’t we quit the EU to stop people from foreign countries coming to the UK and taking our jobs?

Details indicating the scale of the problem are here.

Workers have been walking out to take less stressful, better-paid jobs in supermarkets, hospitality, hairdressing and factory work, according to care home managers.

Common reasons for quitting are low pay worsened by high inflation, and burnout.

Social care reforms focusing on capping costs for service users have been criticised for failing to address the staffing shortage or increasing pay.

So Barclay is going to foreign countries, asking people there to come to the UK to work incredibly hard ministering to people’s needs – for very little pay.

What’s in it for them?

Source: Staffing crisis leaves many English care home residents’ basic needs unmet

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Sunak and Truss: Tory PM contenders squabble while critics attack them both

Squabbling: Sunak and Truss.

This Tory leadership contest is like watching children squabbling over a toy.

Neither Rishi Sunak nor Liz Truss have any decent ideas to improve the quality of life in the United Kingdom, so all we are seeing in the end is the pair of them plumbing the depths in accusing each other.

Sunak’s latest attack on Truss is a claim that, if she doesn’t choose to offer either an unfunded £50 billion of tax cuts – mostly for the rich – and cost of living support (mostly for the poor), she will plunge the UK into an “inflation spiral”.

But his own economic policies are already sending UK inflation rocketing: US bank Citi has predicted it will reach 18 per cent – nine times the Bank of England’s target – in 2023.

That’s because of soaring energy prices – but Sunak’s policies are to blame for the effect they’re having on UK households because neither he nor any of the Tory chancellors since 2010 bothered to invest in UK-based green energy generation; they left us at the mercy of foreign fossil fuel bosses.

Meanwhile, it seems both candidates are committing political suicide by ignoring the interests of the Tories’ natural constituency: pensioners.

Propertied and pensioned people aged over 65 tend to vote for the Conservatives because they want to protect the investments and savings they have earned over the decades. Most Tory Party members are over 60.

But according to Dame Esther Rantzen, older people are facing “victimisation” due to current government policies, with the needs of senior citizens “totally ignored”.

She said both candidates should commit to creating a post for a minister for older people – but that seems a forlorn hope.

Neither Sunak, 42, nor Truss, 47, seem to have anything to say about older people.

And the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that Truss is planning an emergency budget, if she is elected Tory leader (and prime minister by default), without an official economic forecast, even though one is ready and may be used.

Supporters of Sunak say she is trying to avoid scrutiny.

It seems that the policies being offered up by either candidate are no better than a dog’s dinner. We should all be living in fear for the future, no matter which of them gets into 10 Downing Street.

Source: Truss poised to plunge UK economy into ‘inflation spiral’, says Sunak

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