Lancashire small business group demands action now on cost of living crisis as inflation hits record high

A Lancashire small business support group has rocketing interest rates will strangle economic recovery as unions warn the cost of living crisis will mean workers are set to endure a “nightmare”.

Unions have warned the cost-of-living crisis has become a “living nightmare” for workers as the soaring rate of inflation is set to fuel more industrial unrest.

With RPI inflation hitting 12.3 per cent – the highest since March 1981 – and the CPI rate in double figures, union leaders called for urgent action to help families struggling with rising bills.

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Responding to the news that the consumer prices index rose 10.1 per cent, the highest since records began in 1997, and producer price inflation rose 22.6 per cent in the 12 months to July, Federation of Small Businesses National Chair Martin McTague said: “We’re seeing a toxic cocktail of rampant inflation, high taxes, soaring energy costs and shrinking economic growth. Action is needed right now.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham
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“While the consumer prices rate of inflation bursting through 10 per cent is eye-watering, producer input prices are up by more than double that figure and this will filter through, pushing up the cost of living even more.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said inflation has reached “new perilous levels” for workers and their families.

She said: “Yesterday, real wages fell to the lowest on record, So if today’s figures prove anything it’s that wages are not driving inflation.

“Since the pandemic, the FTSE top 350 have seen profits soar by 43 per cent. Britain has a profiteering crisis – when is something going to be done about that?”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Families are facing a cost-of-living emergency. Ministers must cancel the catastrophic rise to energy bills this autumn, and to reduce future inflationary pressures and make energy more affordable, they should bring energy retail into public ownership."

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Meanwhile Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing criticism for a lack of action while holidaying in Greece as rising food prices pushed inflation to another 40-year high.

Asda chairman Lord Rose criticised a “horrifying” absence of fresh support on Wednesday, saying: “The captain of the ship is on shore leave – nobody is in charge at the moment.”