Poor people in Britain are suffering from a far higher inflation rate than the rich, according to research released today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that shows the impact of soaring food and energy bills on those with the lowest incomes.5% inflation in Her Majesty's Scepter'd Isle, compared to a measly 1.5% in the USA. Boy, we sure do a better job than in Blighty, right? Well, take a look at the culprit in the UK:
The thinktank said the least well off had experienced a higher cost of living than the wealthy for the past decade, but that the difference had widened sharply since the long, deep recession of 2008 and 2009.
In a study that coincides with the release of new official data today, the IFS said its analysis using the retail prices index (RPI) showed that the poorest fifth of households had faced an inflation rate of 4.3% between 2008 and 2010, compared to 2.7% for the richest fifth of households. RPI inflation has continued to rise in 2011 and stood at 5.2% in April.
... that shows the impact of soaring food and energy bills on those with the lowest incomes.And what, pray tell, isn't included in the US inflation rate?
Here and around the world, the prices of everything from cotton to coffee have risen. The Department of Agriculture forecast for food costs in 2011 calls for an increase of 3 percent to 4 percent. And, the price of fuel is up -- a lot.So who pays a (much) higher portion of their income for food and gasoline? The poor. So why isn't the Left screaming bloody murder about this? Because the social programs (New Deal, Great Society) are all teetering on insolvency. A lower CPI means that they go broke less quickly. Sharp eyed readers will note that with inflation at 1.5% and GDP growth around 2%, these programs cost less in real terms. That savings can be applied to other Lefty programs - say healthcare.
Yet, the government's measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index, barely registers an increase in the prices consumers are paying. Economists don't expect an inflation increase of more than 1.5 percent this year, "even if food goes up 3 percent and energy goes up 10 percent," says Bill Hampel, chief economist for the Credit Union National Association.
What gives? Don't food and fuel prices count in the tabulation of the index? Not really.
And so the Left is immiserating the poor and the elderly ("Chained CPI" is a blatant attempt to further reduce CPI for Social Security) in order to feed the maw of the Progressive Superstate. For Social Justice™. Because Shut Up.
And for some reason, these SWPL jerks feel more noble than the rest of us ...