Jeremy Hunt admits cost of living crisis ‘part of government plan’

  • Post last modified:March 21, 2024
  • Reading time:4 mins read

On Wednesday 20 March, chancellor Jeremy Hunt owned the cost of living crisis, stating that it’s all part of the government’s plan:

The thing is, Hunt and the establishment’s ‘free market’ ideology isn’t a plan, it’s the lack of a plan. It means letting the capitalists decide how much essential services and products should cost. This thinking drives economic inequality, causing falling living standards.

During the pandemic, the richest increased their wealth to over half a trillion pounds, adding to the cost of living for the rest of us. Meanwhile, homelessness has risen to over 300,000 people.

Research shows huge corporations don’t simply put prices up (inflation) to pay for the entirety of rising costs. They actually use so-called market fluctuations as cover to increase their profits even more than they have already been increasing them.

That’s despite the lack of innovation capitalists show in simply ‘owning’ an essential service we know we need, like food, water, or housing.

We do of course make progress through companies and individuals. But the government can organise with our collective funds to ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.

Organising a decent standard of living

Through an optional job guarantee, running alongside and in cooperation with the private sector, the government can ensure a relatively low-hour working week delivers the person a livelihood including food, housing, electricity, and the other essentials as well as some leisure activities. Jobsharing and training can help facilitate this.

People working through the guarantee can then build on that universal standard with more work in the private sector, if they choose to. The government can achieve this in part by removing shareholder profit from essential services altogether.

Jeremy Corbyn increased Labour’s share of the vote by more than at any point since 1945 with a manifesto that included public ownership of key essential industries. Over 120 economists, including three who predicted the 2008 financial crash, backed the manifesto.

Redistributing wealth and increasing labour value through a job guarantee can raise citizens’ disposable income. This increases demand, which can help stimulate the economy.

A job guarantee also decreases the people on benefits to those who cannot work. But it primarily ensures security for the people.

Hunt and the establishment’s cost of living crisis reflects a lack of government initiative on ensuring access to a decent standard of living.

We should bring natural monopolies into public ownership to help ensure wages guarantee that livelihood.

Featured image via The Times – YouTube

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