Spreading the load
Do you remember the last time you saw a big jump in the price of a bar of chocolate? The chances are you haven’t but the pack size has probably got smaller. It will be ‘new’, ‘improved’, or maybe a ‘better value’ pack but it will almost certainly be smaller than it was before.
This is happening to many products. Some are a genuine attempt to keep the price steady, to absorb the cost of fuel, wages etc. but if they aren’t telling you that’s what they’re doing can you trust them?
The government tells us that the economy is recovering, is growing again and on the surface that may be true, but look a bit deeper and you will see that it is from a smaller base as they shrank the economy over the last 3 years before it stared to grow. For all of us that just means that we are further behind than ever. Like the shrinking chocolate bar, we are told that it is better than before but it is actually smaller. We are in the same financial place we were 3 years ago, still at the beginning. The rise in the economy has been wiped out by inflation.
Every child who goes and a buys a chocolate bar now has to pay more of that chocolate price as VAT. Children don’t earn money but they do pay tax or their parents do on their behalf.
When the Coalition said that ‘we are all in this together’ I don’t think that any of us thought that it would include people who had no resources of their own or that it would hit the poorest harder than the better off.
With Labour’s 5 point plan I believe it will do exactly what it says on the box and deliver a trustworthy way of spreading the load. At least we will know who is paying and and VAT will be reduced to 17.5% for a year!