There is no doubt in anyone's mind that we are living in a cost of living crisis made significantly worse by a high rate of inflation. The Prime Minister as one of his objectives keeps assuring us that he will halve inflation by the end of the year. Unfortunately, this sounds a bit like the cheque is in the post, especially as the Bank of England hikes its interest rates up and mortgages follow suit.
On the industrial relations front, we have a number of disputes from railways to doctors, clamouring for more pay and better working practises. It is important to note that these demands are driven by the collapse of any real attempt to deal with inflation. In other words, increasing prices are driving wage demands and not the other way around. These increases in prices are caused by a variety of factors quite a few were under the government's control and not all the fault of foreigners and what they get up to. Brexit has not helped: it has made trade more difficult and expensive and has choked off a ready supply of workers for our economy.
How do we move forward? Doing the same things but expecting a different result is not going to work and as Einstein pointed out is a sign of madness. There is a general lack of confidence in what the Conservative government is doing, and this extends past Liz Truss’s attempt to blow up our economy. Mortgage rates will hit all of us hard. It will also impact renters as landlords seek to recover their increasing costs. The base interest rate is expected to rise higher later this year so under current plans there is no end to our misery. We need to be more realistic about our situation and not just hope something will turn up. We have to protect our key public services and mitigate the impact on our most vulnerable. And maybe, just maybe, we need to learn to live with inflation.
Parliamentary Spokesperson NW Hampshire.