The Tories and bosses tried to spin new inflation figures released on Tuesday as good news for workers.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation—the bosses’ favourite measure—was 2.6 percent this month, apparently lower than expected.
Tories and bankers claimed this means there’ll be less pressure on ordinary people’s budgets. But the figures still mean that prices are going up fast.
The cost of almost all products that people rely on—including food, transport and housing—have shot up in the last year.
And rail fares will go up by much more next January because they’re linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) that rose 3.6 percent.
This older measure of inflation gives a much closer picture of how ordinary people’s living standards are being affected.
CPI was brought in by the European Union (EU) to enforce “fiscal responsibility”.
It’s deliberately lower than RPI to pressure governments into keeping spending on public services down.
Working class people’s living standards are being squeezed between low pay and higher living costs.
New wage figures set to be released on Wednesday were expected to show average weekly earnings have only risen by around 1.8 percent—lower than either inflation measure.
Pay in “real terms”—accounting for inflation—has fallen since the 2008 global capitalist crash and bosses are determined to keep wages low.