UK Sees Inflation Hit 30-Year High as Tory Government Set to Plow On with Tax Hikes

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: UK prime minister Boris Johnson (L) flanked by Britain's C
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Britain has seen its highest level of annual inflation in 30 years, while the country’s government appears to remain set to move forward with major tax hikes.

The United Kingdom’s annual rate of inflation hit its highest point in 30 years in February, rising to 6.2 per cent.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), this is the highest level seen since 1992, with inflation reaching a previous high of 5.5 per cent in January.

In a report published on Wednesday, the ONS noted that the record inflation was largely down to the increased cost of furniture, household goods, and “recreation and culture”, though increased food and fuel costs were also cited throughout the report.

“Inflation rose steeply in February as prices increased for a wide range of goods and services, for products as diverse as food to toys and games,” said Grant Fitzner, Chief Economist of the ONS, regarding the inflation hike.

“Clothing and footwear saw a return to traditional February price rises after last year’s falls when many shops were closed,” he continued. “The price of goods leaving UK factories has also been rising substantially and is now at its highest rate for 14 years.”

Driven in some part by the ongoing war in Ukraine, UK citizens — like many across the world — are facing steep increases in the cost of living, mainly down to issues involving energy and food insecurity.

For example, while dropping in recent days, the price of petrol and diesel remains extremely high, with consumers still being expected to pay around £1.79 per litre for diesel, or around $8.95 per gallon.

However, despite these mammoth prices, the British government appears reticent to help, with the country’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak seemingly refusing to pull back on promised tax hikes which are due to imminently hit the purse strings of the general public, though reports do indicate that Sunak may announce some measures later today which will aim to reduce the financial strain on British households.

This may include a slight drop in fuel tax, though how effective such a measure will be in the face of fuel insecurity remains to be seen.

However, what does not appear to be changing is the Chancellor’s planned increase of Britain’s national payroll tax, which he announced alongside UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the year.

While Sky News reports that there may be a raising of the threshold for those eligible to pay the tax, its increase will represent a sizable loss in funds for many families already faced with some of the worst inflation they have ever seen.

“We must go ahead with the health and care levy [payroll tax],” the Chancellor previously wrote. “It is progressive: the burden falls most on those who can most afford it. Every penny of that £39 billion will go on crucial objectives — including nine million more checks, scans and operations, and 50,000 more nurses, as well as boosting social care.”


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