Star comment: Cost of living crisis is the number one issue

For many this is a first taste of acute inflation.

Energy bills
Energy bills

The key issue on the doorstep is the cost of living crisis. Energy bills are spiralling for those who can no longer afford to pay them while the cost of food, fuel and other necessities is also rising ever higher.

For many, this is the first period of acute inflation in their lifetime and it is no fun. It is pushing a large swathe of society into poverty, where they are having to make insidious choices about heating or eating.

The Prime Minister says he is doing everything he can to help those wrestling with the spiralling cost of living. There is no doubt that this is a major problem which is hitting all sectors of society, but particularly those already struggling to make ends meet.

Of course, this is not a crisis entirely of the Government’s making. The cost of Covid allied to the costs of war in Ukraine and its impact on both energy and food costs have been substantial. Brexit has also led to challenges, with the promise of easy trade with our European neighbours failing to materialise.

Against that backdrop, the country wanted the Chancellor to do more in his Spring Statement and it is clear that the nation now needs some form of intervention.

Those at the bottom are being hard-pressed and are suffering more than most, those in the middle are finding themselves squeezed as their quality of life plummets, while only those at the top seem to be immune from the effects of spiralling prices.

More must be done - the question is whether that will help those most in need. There are no easy decisions for a Government that has to pay down huge debts while providing further relief to those who are suffering.

While the quarterly results might not look so healthy thanks to its decision to quit Russia, the profits raked in by BP will leave a sour taste in the mouth of many as energy prices continue to soar. True, the company has pledged to drive down emissions, but for many the idea of such enormous profits at a time of hardship for so many seems unpalatable and there will be many who fully support calls for a revamp of the tax system.

The idea of a windfall tax on energy firms who have profited from huge increases in fuel has become increasingly popular. With the Chancellor short of options, that idea would probably find favour with a large proportion of the country.

The bottom line is that prices at the pumps have soared, as have profits for the fuel companies. A correction via the taxation system would help those struggling to make ends meet.

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News