We’re facing the most challenging Christmas for many years


Cllr Matt Turmaine

Sun, 13 November 2022 at 3:00 pm

The cost of the weekly shop is continuing to rise due to the inflation rate. Main image: PA
The cost of the weekly shop is continuing to rise due to the inflation rate. Main image: PA

Incredibly, Christmas is just six weeks away.

It promises to be more challenging than for many a year. There’s always a bit of last-minute shopping – buying of presents, or food, no matter how well organised you are, but this year there’s an additional dimension – a real cost-of-living crisis.

Hopefully, we can get through Christmas with a bit of belt tightening and without a series of rolling three-hour power cuts if gas supplies run too low. For those of us around in the 1970s who remember creeping around by candlelight, we’ll have to update ourselves and use mobile phone torches!

It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that inflation is at a 40-year high and with the country facing recession, things are bleak.

Price rises began quite stealthily a while ago. You’d notice 5p or 10p here or there on an item, but those rises got steeper and kept on coming in the weekly shop. Only the other day, a take-away coffee from a café I pop into regularly went up by 30p a cup – 11.5 per cent.

Let us also hope it is a mild winter given that energy bills, like the companies’ profits, are soaring. It remains to be seen if the Government will embrace Labour’s plans for a windfall tax on their obscene profits when it finally gets around the delayed autumn statement.

I do wonder if the unelected, privately educated, millionaire prime minister really understands the pain and strain family finances are under. I can’t help thinking that if he was in the real world that the rest of us inhabit, he might just get it and we’d be better off for it.

  • Cllr Matt Turmaine is Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Watford

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