The Cost of Living

The government repeatedly states that they “standby ready to help” the country deal with the cost-of-living crisis. However, they appear to be holding off actually helping.

By now, we can all see and feel the increased costs of oil and gas and the increases in consumer prices. Inflation currently stands at 9%, a 40-year high. The Bank of England had previously forecasted that inflation would peak at 4%. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now forecasts that inflation will rise to 10%.

The time for the government to act is now; standing by is no longer a credible option. A windfall tax on the oil and gas industry is a simple way to raise money to give to those who need most help. It is estimated the tax would raise £2 billion this year. The argument against it is that the industry needs the money for investment. However, the industry appears slow to pass-on falls in the price of crude oil but quick to pass on any increases. There appears to be clear profiteering and price gouging. A barrel of oil is a traded commodity worldwide, so more needs to be done to put pressure on oil-producing states to increase production.

Ultimately, what is needed is a massive investment in more renewables in the UK. The UK is already a world leader, but we still need to do more.

Many companies are raising prices citing inflation and increased costs; however, these same companies are also reporting record profits. Their profits relate to last year, but they should be prepared to take a haircut this year and suffer alongside their customers.

The UK is the 5th wealthiest country globally – none of its citizens should have to choose between heat or eating.

Office for Budget Responsibility

Bank of England