In the last few months, the media and some popular newspapers are making people afraid that we are going to see black snow. When prime minister De Croo says at a press conference this crisis shall take another 10 years, he adds to the problem instead of bringing a proper solution.
In Great Britain it was also not any help when Bank of England boss Andrew Bailey said workers, many of whom have suffered years of stagnating pay and soaring prices, should not get real-terms wages rises, claiming there is a risk of runaway inflation becoming “embedded.”
In Britain, Belgium and France there are rulers who would like the population to believe that it is necessary to maintain competition so that working people cannot get a pay rise and that they have to contribute to overcoming this crisis. But in doing so, they overlook the fact that it is actually the big earners and big companies that are now making excess profits and that they would do better to contribute to cushioning rising debts.
Politicians should better listen to the British Unions.
Mega rich companies must rein in profits rather than workers being forced to tighten their belts even more,
unions demanded August the 5th.
Several politicians say that the economy, this autumn, is facing the beginning of its longest recession since the 2008 financial crash. In 2008, several government leaders had already taken us by the scruff of the neck and well into the breach, while covering up for the cheating banks and not standing up for the many thousands who saw all their savings go up in smoke.
Now they want us to believe that all the present problems are caused by the war in Ukraine. They do not seem to see that the energy companies are misusing that war to augment the prices terribly.
Andrew Bailey, who earns £575,000 a year including pensions, has not to worry much about filling his shopping caddy, though he also warned at the beginning of August, that the consumer prices index inflation rate would hit a staggering 42-year high of 13.3 per cent in October, well above the bank’s target of just 2 per cent. And by now we may assume it will be going to be 18% or even more.
In Belgium, fortunately, there is a safety net, whereby there is an automatic wage adjustment according to the index jumps, even though the government has already skipped some, while not indicating this when they want to reassure people by claiming that there is this safe adjustment.
For the British, Dutch, Germans and French, the situation is much worse, because companies have to agree time and again with their bosses on how to adjust wages to higher prices.
If they listened a little more to the lower classes, there would be less discontent among the workers and we would not have seen the kind of trade union actions we have seen this summer.
Those in the higher echelons continue to turn their backs on the conditions on the shop floor and do not listen to the workers. They refuse to be drawn on what an appropriate wage rise would be, On different levels, be it in factories, but also in the health sector and public transport, we find people under increasing pressure. In Britain’s “summer of discontent” we could notice rail workers, aviation staff, criminal barristers, Post Office employees and more strikes against more than a decade of Tory austerity.
Mr Bailey acknowledged that the poorest are being affected most by the cost-of-living crisis, but claimed:
“If everybody tries to beat inflation it doesn’t come down, it gets worse.
“My key point is, if inflation becomes embedded and persistent, it gets worse and the effects get worse,”
he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
He pinned the blame on a “domestic shock” following a shrinkage in the labour force following the Tories’ Brexit deal, as well as soaring energy and food prices caused by the war in Ukraine and supply chain problems after global Covid-19 lockdowns.
He is quite right, however, that leaving the European Union was not a good thing for the British. But even there, a large proportion still fails to see how certain politicians lied to them at the time and dragged them into a catastrophic state of post-Brexit trouble. The Tories have even now elected a prime minister who has made turning with the wind as one of her characteristics and has made it clear how Boris Johnson is her fat friend and she is behind that Brexit, and will oppose even more the Brexit measures that Europe has put forward. So that promises even more misery in the coming months on that front, while imports and exports for Great Britain are already limping along.
The previous weeks, Mrs Truss and her consorts, did not show a lot of empathy for the man of the street.
TUC head of economics Kate Bell slammed Baile for his remarks, saying:
“After the longest and harshest wage squeeze in 200 years, working people in every part of the country are suffering a huge fall in living standards as prices soar.
“With incomes set to fall even further and the economy teetering on the brink of recession, it’s now more important than ever that workers need a pay rise.
“Without wage increases, working people will simply stop spending on anything non-essential – and that will hurt our high streets, damage business and make a recession very likely, putting jobs at risk up and down the country.
“Making sure people can put food on the table for their family is not going to push up inflation.
“’If the governor is worried that some workers might miss out on negotiated pay rises, he should encourage all workers to join a union.”
In our country and in neighbouring countries, the most common trick is to make people gullible to the bosses’ plans. The workers are made to believe that if their wages were to rise, the company would lose its competitive edge and would be forced to sack them and move abroad.
Labour MP Richard Burgon urged working-class people not to be intimidated, tweeting:
“They don’t call it class war when they cut wages.
“They don’t call it class war when they slash benefits; they don’t call it class war when they hike prices – they only call it class war when people fight back.”
In Belgium and Great Britain, however, the government has promised to step in and ensure that the weaker and lowest earners would receive a contribution to ease their energy bills. But that is only a very small token.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the government’s cost-of-living support measures, including a £400 grant to help every household with soaring energy costs, are “clearly not enough.
“There will be families and pensioners who are absolutely terrified because a juggernaut is heading [their] way which will smash through family finances,”
he told the BBC.
Economic think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies echoed these concerns at the beginning of August, and stressed that the winner of the Tory leadership contest between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss would need to “find billions” to save vital public services including the NHS.
Director Paul Johnson said:
“We are looking at potentially big real-terms cuts to some of the public services that are really struggling at the moment.”
In Great Britain, Belgium, France and Germany, it does not yet look as if the government will clamp down on these big energy companies and force them to bring their prices back to normal, while they will have to pay extra tax on the excess profits they have already made. Many of those in government know only too well that with such a measure they would also be penalising their own pockets.