Opinion

Readers debate the causes of inflation: is it higher wages or corporate greed?

The government would have us believe that pay rises for striking workers will fuel inflation. But is it true? Three readers thrash it out

Ten pound note, twenty pound note and three pound coins

Image: SteveBulley from Pixabay

Dear sirs at The Big Issue, you don’t do joined-up thinking about inflation – you are always the side of the TUC and the striking trade unionists such as Aslef and the RMT and others, who all want extortionate wage rises, but you fail to see that putting wages up fuels inflation because companies have to pass the cost of the wage increase on to the customer! It’s true that 11% is a terrible rate of inflation but giving in to the trade unionists, giving them all they want, will push inflation up even more. This is just common sense but you at The Big Issue can’t or won’t see it!  

Malcolm Bazement, Bristol 

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Mr Bazement appears to be unaware that nurses, junior doctors, posties, rail workers, and many other employees have suffered huge drops in their standards of living in the last two decades as a result of unnecessary, and deliberately punitive policies of austerity, with many in work needing to claim benefits and access food banks. Others face evictions because they cannot afford market rents. People are saying enough is enough… A raft of political economists point out that far from being wage driven, current high levels of inflation are the result of corporate profiteering or “greedflation” with food, energy sectors and oil particularly notable. 

While the Bank of England’s interest rate rises have absolutely no impact on “greedflation” they do further  impoverish people while enriching investors and banks. Bank of England economist Huw Pill’s assertion that we should all get used to the idea of being poorer implies we should accept the right of the Bo E to redistribute income from those with least to those with most, and not complain.

Mike French, Budleigh Salterton

Malcolm Bazement states that the extortionate (in Mr Bazement’s opinion) wage demands by train drivers, nurses, council workers, etc, are what is causing inflation. Presumably he thinks that these wage demands are not affordable for employers. Strangely enough, he does not consider the fact that the untold millions spent on the totally unnecessary coronation could quite easily go on giving all workers a decent wage. 

Giving in to the trade unionists, giving them all they want, instead of pushing up inflation even more, will in fact allow trade unionists to feed their children, clothe them, provide them with heating in their homes (if they have a home, and haven’t been put out on the street because they couldn’t afford the rent or the mortgage). The Big Issue’s editors are using their intelligence and knowledge of economics to support the strikers, whereas Mr Bazement does not understand economics.

Yours,
Margaret Forbes

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