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We are living through a cost of living crisis, with interest rate hikes and the prices of everyday consumables and energy bills sky-rocketing. Why is this happening? Sometimes we are told that wages are too high, or that the government has "printed" too much money or that events far away, such as the war in Ukraine, are solely to blame. The plain argument that high prices go together with high profits, falling wages, and weak production is often distorted and hidden by mainstream commentary in the media and elsewhere.
This plain-speaking pamphlet tells it straight: the big businesses dominating production and distribution make huge profits out of high inflation, while working people lose out. It sets out factual evidence to illustrate that the source of record profits is the fall in real wages as inflation rises. A large part of the income of working people is being transferred directly into the profits of big business. The pamphlet shows that the deeper roots of the "cost of living crisis" lie in the very low investment and poor productivity growth for many years. The basic steps to resolving the crisis are simple: prices, especially of essentials, must be brought down, and wages, salaries, benefits, and pensions must be increased.