This morning the Office for National Statistics (ONS) disclosed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December jumped by the largest ever single month increase since records began in 1996; furthermore the Retail Price Index (RPI) also rose by the largest amount since back in 1979. They now stand at:
- CPI 2.9%
- RPI 2.4%
Both the CPI and RPI are measures of the average price of a standard group of goods and services - called a 'basket' - bought by a typical household. The main difference between them is that the RPI also includes Housing / Mortgage costs.
We can look at them as an index of generally how much or less we have to spend to buy the same essential items which we all buy each month: things like groceries, clothing, petrol or diesel for the car, electricity, pet food, haircuts, and so on.
These huge jumps mean that, on average, pretty much everything is now 2.9% MORE expensive than it was previously - and, remember, that is before we also add in the the additional 2.5% VAT increase which kicked in this month. In other words household bills are going to cost on average up to 5.4% MORE than they did last year - which is not good news for the hundreds of Anglesey households who are already suffering from the recent spate of job losses at Anglesey Aluminium, Welsh Country Foods and elsewhere. Its a real "Double Whammy" for them.
This huge rise in inflation is a direct consequence of the huge sums of money the Labour Government has been printing each month in order to pay for ever increasing levels of national debt. Its good for the Government as it means it can 'inflate away' a portion of its debt, but leaves each and every one of us with any savings or a fixed income poorer as a result. And Anglesey, already the poorest county in the UK, will be disproportionately hit yet again as the average income here is that much less than elsewhere.