Thanks to the government, you’re probably best off having a packet of crisps for Christmas dinner this year [IMAGES]

Theresa May Bah Humbug Christmas
Support us and go ad-free

If you are one of the so-called “squeezed middle“, or just squeezed generally, you may wish to have a rethink about your Christmas shop this year. Because your money is officially not going to go as far as it did last year. And Labour pins the blame on the Conservative government.

Spiralling costs

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that inflation has gone up again. They show that Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation, the rate at which prices of goods and services rise, hit 3.1% in November, the highest level since March 2012. And while the ONS said rising air fares contributed the most to the 0.1% increase since October, buried in its statistics were some cold, hard facts about the rising cost of food and drink.

The figures [xls, table four] from the ONS on food, drink and tobacco prices are as follows (the green block is the monthly change in price; the red block, the yearly change):

ONS Inlfation

As Reuters reported, specific analysis from market researcher Kantar Worldpanel found that grocery inflation was 3.6% in the 12 weeks to 3 December, with prices rising in all categories except fresh poultry and crisps.

I’m alright, Jack

But so far, people haven’t been reducing their spending because of price increases. As Kantar Worldpanel found:

The biggest four grocers saw collective growth of 1.9% during the past 12 weeks, making this the ninth consecutive period of increasing sales for the UK’s largest retailers. Tesco – with sales up 2.5% compared to this time last year – was the fastest growing of the four.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, told ITV News:

Inflation is expected to fall over the coming year, but I recognise families are feeling a squeeze now. We are determined to help, which is why the Autumn Budget cut income tax, boosted basic pay by more than inflation and froze alcohol and fuel duties.

An ongoing crisis

But Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Peter Dowd – hit back, saying:

Today’s rise in inflation to its highest level in over five-and-a-half years is extremely concerning, and once again reveals that after seven years of Tory economic failure, this Government has no answers to the problem of wages continuing to fail to keep up with prices.

We shouldn’t forget that there will be millions of working families who will be struggling this Christmas already as a direct result of government policies such as the benefits freeze and the public sector pay cap; this is a further reminder of just how bad this double whammy of rising prices and Tory austerity policies will be this month for them.

So with price rises continuing to outstrip wage increases, and forecasters saying there’s no end to this in sight, it may be time to consider cutting back this Christmas; which, in Tory Britain, is probably what millions have been doing for years anyway.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via Flickr/Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed