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(en) UK, London Anarchist Federation: Slides From The Open Assembly On The Cost Of Living (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 28 Apr 2022 08:05:05 +0300


Thank you to everyone who came, some good potential projects came out of the assembly, which we will share further down the line if those involved want us to. ---- As part of the meeting we did a very short presentation on what was driving the rising cost of living. People showed an interest in the slides from that presentation, so we are putting them up here. ---- For those not at the assembly some of the points on the slides may not be that clear out of context, but we have a longer essay on the cost of living in the works. ---- Slide One - Introduction
- Going to have to cover a lot of things in not a lot of time
- Will not be able to cover any one point in a lot of detail
- Some stats may be out of date. Have tried to use government's own sources whenever possible
- GDP/size of the economy is an imperfect metric, but generally when it shrinks it is the poor that suffer

Slide Two - General Overview
- Overall inflation at 7%
- Wage growth around 4%
- Loss of around £1000 a year for average household
- Real income expected to keep falling until 2024
- Real income expected to still be below 2021 levels by 2026
- Are we facing another recession?

Slide Three - Causes: Energy Prices
- This month, average household gas + electricity bill went from £1,277 to £1,971
- Another price rise expected in October of around £900
- This will cause knock on price rises
- Retail price rises caused by wholesale gas price rises
- Ultimately this price rise is caused by many different factors

Slide Four - Causes: War
- Russia and Ukraine produce 30% of the worlds export wheat, 20% its export corn, and 80% of its sunflower oil
- Food prices could go up by 15% this year
- Russia is a big producer of fossil fuels
- War has caused volatility in oil prices and other natural resources
- The cost of sanctions on Russia and aid to Ukraine?

Slide Five - Causes: COVID
- Most deaths in Europe outside of Russia - 170,000
- Worst economic decline in Europe, that we have not fully recovered from - Long term loss of 2% of the economy
- The as yet unseen costs of long COVID - Nearly a million people affected
- Government no longer seems to care, could still get worse

Slide Six - Causes: Brexit
- Government's own prediction that Brexit will be twice as damaging as COVID in the long term - 4% reduction in size of the economy
- Costs of Brexit + COVID mean the government will raise tax, which are predicted to be highest as share of economy since 1950
- Will the state also seek to raise defence spending in light of invasion of Ukraine?

Slide Seven - Costs Will Hit Poorest Hardest
- Averages do not tell the whole story. Some people may still get wage rises above inflation
- But poorest households spend more on food and energy than richer households, and were hit hardest by COVID
- Minorities over-represented among the poorest households

Slide Eight - The Long Crisis: Wages
- The UK economy never truly recovered from 2008 recession
- 2008-2018 was the worst decade of wage growth since the 1860s
- Real wages only just approached pre-recession levels just before COVID
- UK productivity has been stagnant since recession. Profits have had to come at the expense of wages.

Slide Nine - The Long Crisis: Housing
- From 2009 to 2021, nominal wages went up by 35%
- In the same period house, prices went up by 75%
- The average house price is now £277,000 UK wide, and £530,000 in London
- Are we in another property bubble?

Slide Ten - The Long Crisis: Austerity
- State reacted to last economic crisis by slashing benefits and services
- In 2018 £37bn less was spent on welfare than in 2010
- Austerity did not work. 2019 analysis indicated that it reduced GDP by £100bn that year alone
- Austerity killed people. In 2020 life expectancy stalled for first time in a century
- 120,000+ excess deaths?

Slide Eleven - The Long Crisis: Global Warming
- Hard to pin particular events on climate change
- The climate is changing and this will effect food prices directly
- Knock on effects on other industries - Taiwan, producer of 60% of global semi-conductor chips, is having problems producing them due to drought
- Did climate change play a role in the current high energy prices?

Slide Twelve - Conclusions
- The cost of living crisis is being caused by many factors. Some are global, some specific to UK
- It comes on top of more than a decade of austerity and economic weakness
- The state's pursuit of austerity policies and its approach to COVID indicates that it is perfectly happy to let its subjects die
- We have to rely on our own cooperation to survive this as best we can

11) https://aflondon.wordpress.com/2022/04/20/slides-from-the-open-assembly-on-the-cost-of-living/#more-2191
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