Richard Lynch in today’s Morning Star reminds us that we now have the highest inflation in the European Union and that recently announced price rises for gas, electricity, rail fares and other necessities will soon drive inflation figures up again. This will have serious consequences for UNISON members suffering from pay restraint.
He compares in detail price increases in the UK compared to our European neighbors. A look at our nearest neighbor Ireland is interesting.
“Food and drink prices increased by 35.6 per cent in Britain over the six year period, while prices in Ireland increased by only 1 per cent. Gas and electricity prices increased by 61 per cent here while prices in Ireland increased by a much lower 28 per cent. Overall inflation increased by 20.7 per cent here while Irish inflation increased by only 3.2 per cent.”
Richard then goes on to ask why is inflation so much higher in this country than in other comparable nations?
It is clearly not wages or exchange rates. He argues that it is big companies who are pushing up their prices to boost their already high profits and to give their fat-cat executives lavish remuneration packages. Outsourcing and VAT increases add to this. He concludes:
“Not only are we being fleeced by inflation, we are being taken for fools by the people who are creating it so that they can transfer cash from our pockets to theirs and increase inequality in income and wealth even further.”