Socialist Worker

Low inflation? Not for pensioners or the poor

Issue No. 2142

Poor people will not be sharing the government’s relief that the rate of inflation has fallen.

One side effect of the recession is that the poor are paying out relatively much more than the rich.

In the government’s own figures the food inflation rate was 9.9 percent in January. Household fuel inflation was a shocking 35.1 percent.

Ordinary people are hit far harder by rising fuel and food costs, while the rich gain from cuts in mortgage rates and falling petrol bills.

Furthermore, costs are going up for people in rented accommodation. Rent rises average 4.7 percent for private renters, but 6.1 percent for local authority tenants.

Many people face much higher price hikes.

Inflation for the richest fifth of households currently averages at minus 1 percent. But for the poorest fifth it is 5.3 percent.

Worst hit are pensioners. People aged 70 to 79 face an average inflation rate of 5.6 percent. This rises to 7.1 percent for those over 80.

The statistics show what most of us feel every week. We are being made to pay for the crisis while the wealthy are doing just fine.

Workers need to start fighting a lot harder to reverse this.


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News
Tue 10 Mar 2009, 18:32 GMT
Issue No. 2142
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