Inflation has risen sharply in recent months due to the war in Ukraine and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything from food to energy prices has increased significantly.
The government expects inflation to reach 11% in October when a cap on energy prices is raised. The continued increase in fuel prices in the country is also likely to have a more significant impact in the coming months.
This has caused a significant increase in the cost of living, disproportionately affecting low-income households.
The government’s inaction has prompted many reactions from opposition groups and labor unions in the past few months.
A Rail and Tube strike, the biggest in 30 years, was declared in much of the country, bringing London to a standstill as employees demanded higher wages to meet the increase in living costs. Picketing is expected to continue throughout the year as Boris Johnson, the Conservative Prime Minister, has vowed not to give in to demands.
The Prime Minister has recently been under immense political pressure as decent living conditions are becoming increasingly inaccessible.
Johnson faced a vote of no confidence in parliament earlier this month, only winning by a small margin. In the vote 41% of his own Conservative MPs voted to remove him from office. His party also faced two electoral defeats losing two seats, prompting the Party Chairman to step down.
In response to recent inflation figures and government inaction, the Green Party of the UK issued a news release last week. The Greens are proposing a shift in how the government responds to the rising cost of living, adopting an eco-socialist plan, away from the usual austerity measures.
The Green Party’s Co-leader, Carla Denyer explained:
“As Greens we fully support the TUC’s call for an increase in wages, with public sector increases being funded by the Treasury. The cost of living crisis is actually an income crisis. It is vital that wages keep pace with inflation this year. We also need to see a reversing of the real-term wage losses that took place during the Tories’ era of austerity.”
To tackle rising inequalities and support low-income households, the Greens want the government to increase the minimum wage and let public sector wages catch up with inflation while raising taxes on the wealthiest individuals.
The party also calls for an increase to Universal Credit, a monthly payment from the government to help with living costs.
Across the globe, countries are also struggling to fight high inflation rates and rising costs of living. The United States has recently hit a record high of 5$ per gallon, with inflation reaching 8.6%. This has increased worldwide skepticism towards the status quo and pushed opposition groups to propose alternatives.