Star comment: A long battle to make ends meet

The Prime Minister has promised to deliver growth and she must achieve that.

The Queen’s death has rightly consumed us all in recent days as we’ve paid tribute to the most remarkable monarch that any of us will ever know.

While the national mood has focused on her incredible service and the changes that result following her death, we are not detached from the myriad other issues that require attention.

Today we reveal the real price of inflation, with a list of the products we all consume and how much more they are costing us. Inflation has dipped for the first time for a while because of a welcome dip in fuel prices.

Even so, at around 10 per cent, it remains incredibly high and the effects on families and businesses is keenly felt.

The cost of living crisis remains very much with us and the Government’s decision that we should pay for the spiralling cost of energy, rather than the companies who are making tens of billions in windfall gains, remains a key issue.

Experts believe that the support on energy bills announced by the Government last week will ensure that inflation does not reach the concerning highs that had been forecast. That is to be welcome.

The Prime Minister has promised to deliver growth and she must achieve that if her spell in office is not to be short lived.

Any downward momentum in inflation must be used to encourage driving down the price of other goods and services. Consumers can also do their bit by shopping around, encouraging supermarkets to compete and keep margins down. But with War in Ukraine ongoing, putting pressure on fuel and grain supplies, we are faced with a long battle to make ends meet.

Many people filing past the Queen today will have waited in line overnight, or for several hours at least. There is something about the human psyche that makes us want to be in a crowd during a time of crisis. The sense of community, shared experience and togetherness is palpable. It brings comfort at a time of need.

Those waiting in line are doing so because they believe the sacrifice of their time and comfort is worth it to honour the Queen. But it is also because they like to have the support of the crowd among them. In times of crisis the goodness of the human spirit comes to the fore. It happened in Covid lockdown and it is happening now. We are herd animals, at our strongest when we come together.

During the days ahead we will be able to further remember Queen Elizabeth II and should do so. Her life was remarkable and it is good for us all to come together and express our shared sorrow.

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