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How to Help Reduce the Cost of Living

The UK cost of living was on the rise long before the Russia / Ukraine war kicked off. The war has exacerbated our cost of living crisis, but it was not the sole cause.

It turns out, just as many of us have been predicting for several years that it isn’t possible to shut down an economy without paying a massive economic cost. Furlough delayed the impact for a few million people, but a combination of supply chain issues, product and material shortages and profiteering are driving inflation.

Inflation was already on the increase. No Government can print money for years on end without paying the price. Every nation on earth that has printed too much money has suffered the same problem. In theory it is a cost free way of injecting cash into the economy without borrowing, but it devalues existing currency, driving inflation.

We have been printing too much money annually since 2008 when the last economic crash happened. We are now, in combination with Covid lockdowns about to reap the effects of that policy.

Ever growing taxes remove more money from our wallets. If I didn’t know better, I would have to conclude that the current Government wanted to drive us into a recession.

We are at the mercy of global supply chains, for petrol and diesel because we no longer produce enough in the UK. We have cut gas production in a vainglorious attempt to achieve net zero before we have affordable, reliable alternative energy sources in place.

So now we have oil and gas shortages due in part to the war in Ukraine & Russian sanctions. These drive up prices as we have seen.

Families are facing massive fuel increases, already 100 – 200% with warnings that we can expect further increases in the autumn.

For anyone on a fixed salary or universal credit, they are running out of options to pay their bills, feed themselves and stay warm & mobile.

It’s not easy for anyone, but for the lowest paid it is a huge crisis that no one seems to be willing to do anything to help with.

We have a Government that offered a £1 million worth of discounted train tickets in order to address the issue. George Useless offered the very helpful tip on 4-5-2022 that people should choose the value brands when shopping…… we hadn’t thought of that had we? This is the perfect example of how out of touch the Government is with normal everyday people.

While I am certain that Fortnum and Masons own brand Fois Gras is considerably more affordable for your average Tory struggling to spend their £2k pay rise, for the rest of us, we have all, to one extent or another cut our cloth according to our means.

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So what should be done to help desperate families?

We would increase the basic tax threshold from £12,000 to £20,000. this would put £30 per week back into the pockets of the lowest paid. See costing here

We would cut the Green tax that currently adds £153 to our heating bills.

We would return the £100 Billion tax windfall that the Government will receive in 2022 due to increased fuel costs.

We would cut the 5% vat on gas & temporarily reduce the tax on road fuel to maintain affordability.

Looking for longer term solutions, we would start fracking. The gas deposits under our feet are worth up to £2 trillion. Enough to provide low cost energy for us all while paying down a significant portion of the national debt over the next 30 – 40 years.

We would also improve our independence by increasing production in North Sea and Atlantic gas fields so we don’t have to rely on international suppliers. It makes no sense to stop pumping our own and import it half way round the world instead.

We would also increase our nuclear power provision.

It will still be possible to work towards net zero by 2050, but we will have affordable fuel and heating while we get there. Our home produced gas and oil doesn’t have to be sold at world market prices either. We could stipulate in the licences a price cap for UK consumption.

Currently, Sunak is planning to use the £100 B tax windfall to pay down some of the hopeless wasted covid spending that he presided over. That money is gone, much of it to fraud, mismanagement, and bad decision making. Once we were a few weeks into the first lockdown it became clear to many critical thinkers that the vast majority of us were not at mortal risk from covid. At that point we should have switched from national lockdowns to protecting the vulnerable. We could have kept them safe and supplied them with everything they needed while everyone at low or no risk could have been driving the economy forwards, paying taxes and helping to preserve the economy.

Instead of attempting to pay down the wasted spending in time to get reelected in 2024, we should perhaps roll that section of the national debt into a war bond as we did after the second world war.

We can’t afford to house the people here, we don’t have the money to repair our potholes, let alone build sufficient useable infrastructure. We couldn’t afford to pay pensioners the pension increase they were due. We don’t have enough schools, hospitals, GPs, etc. But we are still giving billions to Ukraine. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t add up to me?

We have also given away billions in military equipment, let’s hope we don’t need any of it ourselves in the near future.

Collectively, our strategy would put more money back into the pockets of the lowest paid, reduce the cost of both gas and road fuels as well as building a self reliance in energy going forwards.

Net Zero

The long term goal of net zero (definitions do vary) should be maintained. At some point in time we are going to have to start looking after the planet we live on.

We can argue about climate change until the cows come home, but in short, the same worldwide Governments that couldn’t control the covid virus have large swathes of the population convinced that if we all pay more taxes they can control the temperature.

Let’s work towards doing as little harm to the planet as possible. Maybe we could start by addressing plastics being found in the food chain, in our blood….. a massive plastic island in the Pacific larger than Wales.

Over 4 billion plastic face masks have found their way into the ocean in 2 years…… how?? Who is dumping them? I have long suspected that many of the container ships returning to the far east carrying our waste for ‘recycling’ do in fact just dump it all in the sea as soon as they are out of sight. It is the only way I can see that Indonesian beaches end up awash with western plastic packaging.

Why don’t we fix that issue….. we actually could if Governments decided to. Clean oceans would be a major step forwards in protecting our planet.

Returning to the UK’s current net zero policy, who thought it was a good idea to cut nuclear and gas power station production before the renewable tech was in place and running reliably?

Currently, wind turbine contracts are designed to provide electricity at a controlled cost, but due to a contractual oversight, they are not required to renew their contracts for three year periods, meaning that during those 3 years they can sell their electricity at full market rates, making them billions. It seems that every where you look the British public are getting shafted.

We are relying on the Government to protect us from ruin, to keep the lights on and the economy stable. Sadly the Government don’t appear to give a damn about the public.

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