Sunday, 4 March 2007

The rising cost of living

Since Christmas I've spent almost every weekend in Chatham & Aylesford and have left my bills, bank statements, letters etc piling up. So today with the rain pouring down I spent the whole afternoon doing my domestic duties and paying bills.

As I was looking at my own bills I was reminded of a conversation I had yesterday whilst out door knocking about the rising cost of living. Many people are finding it increasingly difficult to pay rising gas, electricity and water bills, as well as bigger council tax bills, which have nearly doubled since Labour came to power (although thankfully Conservative-run Medway Council still has the lowest in Kent). All this is particularly troublesome for those on fixed incomes like pensioners but it is not easy either for families or low income households who have also had to pay more for their mortgages in recent months. The overall proportion of income taken in tax is forecast to reach its highest level this year since 1986. According to a report by the Tax Reform Commission, the OECD the average tax burden is 39% falling to 37.9% in 2007, but in the UK it is set to rise to 42.7% in 2007 - no wonder personal debt is at a record level.

I will wager a bet that none of this is mentioned in Gordon Brown's forthcoming Budget when he will no doubt tell us yet again how we've never had it so good!

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