It’s colder up north: a winter of discontent beckons

Photo by Sylvia Zamperini

Every winter we take the cold weather for granted. However, this year it’s going to cost us all so much more in heating bills. On 1 October gas and electricity prices go up by 12%. How many of us can really afford all these prices hikes, along with fuel and food prices rocketing, all largely due to Brexit? This really will be a ‘winter of discontent’ for so many and especially for those in the north.

Interest rates in a winter of discontent

For those that pay a mortgage or have a loan, the coming months may be full of trepidation. Labour shortages and sky-high global energy prices will cause inflation to remain at elevated levels for a considerable time. This is very likely lead to interest rates increasing next year in an attempt to control inflation.

Nights out just got more expensive

As part of support to the hospitality industry, VAT was cut from 20% to 5%. This temporary cut ends on 1 October and rates rise 12.5% and return to the full rate from March 2022. We can all expect more expensive drinks and food prices in the very near future.

Furlough and Universal Credit cut

It’s impeccable timing by the Chancellor. Millions are impacted by the benefit cut and the ending of the furlough scheme on the same date. And it’s done by a cowardly and out of touch government to those who are in most need of support.

Is Sunak really so wealthy that he cannot comprehend the fears and concerns right around the UK?

Is there a solution to a winter of discontent?

We cannot do anything about global energy prices but we must invest in more local gas storage and renewable energy to reduce our dependence on imported gas and oil and electricity. 

Food inflation is linked very considerably to a shortage of labour directly triggered by Brexit in the food and agricultural industries and of course by an estimated shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers.

Meanwhile Goldman Sachs has estimated that Brexit is costing us £600 million a week instead of the £350million promised on the side of a famous bus.

The solution is startlingly simple. We need freedom of movement of labour restored if we want to be sure of our Christmas dinners.

Please follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and/or support us with a regular donation