Birmingham has long been a city with some of the highest levels of deprivation in western Europe, living with fears for the future as the loss of big manufacturing becomes apparently permanent. However, within living memory the city became the UK’s second city, and achieved an economic peak during the 1920s and 1930s – times that for Manchester and most […]
As this is being written, in 2012, squeezed living standards have been the norm in the UK now for a good many years. The lastest news indicates apparently that the global downturn is taking the pressure off food and energy prices. Rental prices for housing are still edging upwards although purchase prices are subsiding, and it is only the […]
This current spiral in food and resource prices is international, and it this international spiral that has taken off. So has not now the time come to begin to re-think our policies ? So as to gear the UK for riding out this storm and others that will come along.
The highest rate of inflation among the original G7 members, is our UK inflation rate. Although there is much doubt about how representative the official figure is, no one really believes the official figure under estimates inflation. Over a decade after inflation and interest rate management was taken out of the hands of politicians this is an unexpected predicament. The whole logic of the hope of the 1990s was that the UK would have a sounder monetary system if politicians and their short-term agendas were taken out of this level of economic management. That was supposedly the lesson of experience overseas.
None of our current inflation indices register the unique house price inflation the UK has had. Had they done so in any manner comparable to Germany and the US, there would have been far higher inflation registered across the UK under New Labour. Looking at housing affordability indices gives us some idea of the seriousness of the real inflation being missed. And an index that shows this up region by region would show a revealing story for the West Midlands. We show what it would reveal.
The new government have inherited the highest inflation rate in the G7. And as they consider any sort of increase in VAT to pay off national debt they need to think about how they keep their finger on the national pulse as the country faces these challenges to their living standards. More like Ronald Reagan than Margaret Thatcher.