The cost of living

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Sciolus
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Re: The cost of living

Post by Sciolus » Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:02 pm

dyqik wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:01 pm
Sciolus wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:52 pm
Don't worry, the government knows what to do about increasing energy bills.
The fun question in this scheme is how are the government going to handle repayments to these loans fairly?

Can't do it by property, as properties change hands, including to people who aren't even renting right now (students, children)
Can't do it by person, because then you could avoid repayment by changing the named person on the account, unless you have to repay in full when the account changes. Which then impacts people who move regularly the most, who are more likely to be poorer.
I don't think you followed my link...

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: The cost of living

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Feb 03, 2022 10:04 pm

discovolante wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:49 pm
Stephanie wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 5:25 pm
lpm wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 12:33 pm
The cost of living crisis for various salaries going up by 6.6%.

£20,000 pa

+£898 post tax pay rise
-£130 NI tax increase
-£700 energy bills
+£150 Council Tax rebate
+£200 energy loan in October

+£418 pa = £8 extra per week to pay for inflation in groceries etc

£30,000 pa

+£1,347 post tax pay rise
-£255 NI tax increase
-£700 energy bills
+£150 Council Tax rebate
+£200 energy loan in October

+£742 pa = £14 extra per week to pay for inflation in groceries etc

£50,000 pa

+£1,941 post tax pay rise
-£505 NI tax increase
-£700 energy bills
+£0 Council Tax rebate
+£200 energy loan in October

+£936 pa = £18 extra per week to pay for inflation in groceries etc

Conclusions: if you've got a badly insulated home and a high gas bill you're screwed. If you don't get a 6.6% pay rise you're screwed. If you're on a variable rate mortgage you're screwed. If you're comfortably off you'll still need to cut back on some luxuries. We're not as rich as we thought we were.
Apparently we're not allowed to ask for pay rises https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60206564
Well I'm glad that the Bank of England understands the power of collective action anyway.
lol

I was going to ask what they teach in schools these days, but even schoolkids are striking for the climate.

What's up with adults, and when did their hope die?
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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:05 pm

dyqik wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:01 pm
Sciolus wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:52 pm
Don't worry, the government knows what to do about increasing energy bills.
The fun question in this scheme is how are the government going to handle repayments to these loans fairly?

Can't do it by property, as properties change hands, including to people who aren't even renting right now (students, children)
Can't do it by person, because then you could avoid repayment by changing the named person on the account, unless you have to repay in full when the account changes. Which then impacts people who move regularly the most, who are more likely to be poorer.
Can't do it by raising the standing charges, because then you are charging people who aren't currently paying bills for loans other people got - effectively just delaying inflation.
The government wouldn't do what's in the link, even if you gave them a time machine to get it done a decade ago.

It will be a levy - every bill 2023 onwards will have a repayment levy. Obviously this is unfair, because some people won't repay, others will repay but not receive, or repay twice. But it's simple. And near enough.

And inflation could mean you get £200 now, only repay £175 in real terms in the future.
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discovolante
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Re: The cost of living

Post by discovolante » Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:32 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 10:04 pm
discovolante wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:49 pm
Stephanie wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 5:25 pm


Apparently we're not allowed to ask for pay rises https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60206564
Well I'm glad that the Bank of England understands the power of collective action anyway.
lol

I was going to ask what they teach in schools these days, but even schoolkids are striking for the climate.

What's up with adults, and when did their hope die?
Refuse to pay the bills, pass it on.
I'M HEATING STREAKY BACON IN A TROUSER PRESS

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Re: The cost of living

Post by IvanV » Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:40 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:05 pm
It will be a levy - every bill 2023 onwards will have a repayment levy. Obviously this is unfair, because some people won't repay, others will repay but not receive, or repay twice. But it's simple. And near enough.

And inflation could mean you get £200 now, only repay £175 in real terms in the future.
Rarely has a policy been so transparently similar to rearranging the deckchairs. It's doing something, even though it amounts to almost nothing, so they can announce they are doing something. It's gamble that energy prices will be lower in 2023. Which is nothing but a gamble.

A wise government, of any complexion, understanding the needs of the people, would increase the income of the unwaged and lower paid to be able to afford to pay the actual bill.

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Re: The cost of living

Post by Gfamily » Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:42 pm

Stephanie wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 5:25 pm
Apparently we're not allowed to ask for pay rises https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60206564
From Twitter
In 2013, the Governor of the Bank of England got £307,750. According to the Bank of England's inflation calculator, that's £375,276 in 2021.

Last year, the salary of the Governor of the Bank of England was £575,538.

Mr Bailey: you cut your pay first.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:57 pm

discovolante wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:32 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 10:04 pm
discovolante wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:49 pm


Well I'm glad that the Bank of England understands the power of collective action anyway.
lol

I was going to ask what they teach in schools these days, but even schoolkids are striking for the climate.

What's up with adults, and when did their hope die?
Refuse to pay the bills, pass it on.
This is the best political response I've seen so far.
We have the right to a clean, healthy, sustainable environment.

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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Fri Feb 04, 2022 4:45 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:41 am
Digging into the Ofgem stuff, looks like slightly better for electricity and worse for gas.

Depends on region, and assuming paying by DD, but appears to be

Electricity - 28p per kwh

Gas - 7p per kwh
Rate increase, varying per region.

£75 p.a. increase in electricity standing charge to fund the costs of all the bankrupt energy suppliers.

Image

https://twitter.com/MartinSLewis/status ... 0986500100
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IvanV
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Re: The cost of living

Post by IvanV » Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:21 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Feb 04, 2022 4:45 pm
£75 p.a. increase in electricity standing charge to fund the costs of all the bankrupt energy suppliers.
Thank you for drawing attention to this nasty little detail.

There has been a long argument over whether this was a sensible way to cover the costs of picking up the pieces of bankrupt energy suppliers and funding supply-of-last-resort costs. I've always been on the "no" side of that debate. This should have been the point at which the "noes" won. But I rather suspect it has been overshadowed by the increase in the cost of energy.

There are alternatives. There are several other industries with methods for avoiding large losses to the customers of collapsed suppliers, and I'm not aware of any other that does it like this. It is a European law, for example, that countries have to have a scheme to pick up the pieces of collapsed tour operators. Bank deposits are protected. There are even schemes to protect building guarantees and advance payments for double glazing installation. So there is a whole zoo of methods available to study and pick from.

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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Sat Feb 12, 2022 5:54 pm

OH f.ck OFF, FOR f.cks SAKE, WHAT THE f.ck IS THIS?
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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Sat Feb 12, 2022 6:00 pm

Monroe has gone shopping.

And has discovered that prices are now... er...
Pasta in my local supermarket (one of the Big Four), was 29p for 500g. Today it’s 70p. That’s a 141% price increase as it hits the poorest and most vulnerable households.
Back to 29p.
This time last year, the cheapest rice at the same supermarket was 45p for a kilogram bag. Today it’s £1 for 500g. That’s a 344% price increase as it hits the poorest and most vulnerable households.
Back to 45p.
Baked beans: were 22p, now 32p. A 45% price increase year on year.
Back to 22p.
Canned spaghetti. Was 13p, now 35p. A price increase of 169%.
Back to 13p.
Curry sauce. Was 30p, now 89p. A price increase of 196%.
Back to 28p.

https://twitter.com/BootstrapCook/statu ... 7067606016
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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Sat Feb 12, 2022 6:05 pm

She's got the nerve to claim the return of these value products at low prices is due to her campaigning.

As if supermarkets can repackage their rice into their Value/Smart Price/Basics packaging within days.

This is exactly what I immediately suspected - she went shopping on a day when the supermarket was half empty due to supply issues. There was no campaign by EVIL BIG SUPERMARKETS against the poor. There was no 344% inflation. There was no strategy of driving price conscious customers into the arms of Aldi and Lidl.

All it needed was a f.cking lorry to turn up and the shelves get refilled.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Sat Feb 12, 2022 6:10 pm

Or, to be cynical, a particular branch had low sales of cheap stuff so redirected shelf space to items customers preferred.

Then they noticed Monroe's campaign, worked out this was her branch, and sent a lorry to some other branch and grabbed all the value stuff off the shelves to be rediverted to please a single customer on her next shopping trip.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Sat Feb 12, 2022 6:16 pm

Meanwhile a proper survey has been done, although only for a basket of 15 food items.

And found the opposite to Monroe's claim - lower inflation for the cheaper goods than the standard range

- value range down 4%
- standard range up 8%

"Looking at food prices is a bit of a minefield" says the spokeswoman for the survey. I wonder who that gentle little comment is aimed at.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60290236
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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Sat Feb 12, 2022 7:03 pm

Monroe also revealed her local supermarket location, which was Asda.

There is a Lidl 0.9 miles, 18 minutes walk away.

This Lidl opened in February 2021.

I appreciate walking further to a supermarket is tough with heavy bags, but the way a radius works means some people will be closer to the new Lidl than the Asda. The Lidl is on a bus route and is convenient for a train station. Google seems to show a lot of suburban housing near both the Lidl and Asda. It also shows a lot of parked cars - this is an area where most people drive to a big supermarket. In elections they'll be voting in whatever wears a blue rosette.

Everything is as I have said in this thread. Aldi and Lidl have created serious competition in the value space. I bet Asda is really struggling right now - do they move up to Waitrose land or get down in the fight with the new competitors? In this particular location I've no doubt that the Asda branch saw a significant drop in revenue from the very first day Lidl opened a year ago. And obviously the cheap "Price Smart" products at Asda will have seen the sharpest drop in sales when those value customers switched.

I suspect Asda is going to struggle to find its own space. It missed out of the first wave of "Sainsburys Local" and "Tesco Express" openings, which offer more convenience and less value. It's losing value to Aldi and Lidl. It's probably keeping weekly family shops by the less price conscious, but with this getting chipped away. They were taken over by those petrol guys, who maybe have the instincts to target convenience ahead of price..

Monroe and her neighbours should switch to the Lidl if they want to shop more cheaply. It's as simple as that.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by jdc » Sat Feb 12, 2022 7:45 pm

lpm wrote:
Sat Feb 12, 2022 7:03 pm

Monroe and her neighbours should switch to the Lidl if they want to shop more cheaply. It's as simple as that.
She doesn't need to now that she's single-handedly taken on Asda and won: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/asda-bri ... 29949.html

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Re: The cost of living

Post by Gfamily » Sat Feb 12, 2022 11:02 pm

lpm wrote:
Sat Feb 12, 2022 6:05 pm
She's got the nerve to claim the return of these value products at low prices is due to her campaigning.
Given the f.cking supermarket is happy to acknowledge that her campaign is behind the return of these value products - I think it's a valid claim.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Sun Feb 13, 2022 12:18 pm

Those goalposts have been shifted further than the walk from Asda to Lidl.

This was supposedly about very high inflation for the poor. 344% price rises. "If the price of a luxury lasagne had risen at the same rate as the cheapest rice in the supermarket, that £7.50 lasagne would now cost £25.80." A whole new price index, blessed by the apostles of St Pratchett, would prove this to the world.

But now it's been shown it's just a stocking issue and prices of key staples haven't changed in a year.

So the campaign's had to claim victory on something else - Asda stocked the cheap range in 300 stores, now they'll carry it in 581 stores.

I think we've got a right to demand integrity and expertise from the "people on our side", same as we demand it from scum Tories. At least basic competence. It's not too much to ask that a food price campaigner should walk 18 minutes to Lidl with a notebook and pen to look at the prices where value customers shop, or jump on a bus to the Aldi four miles away. Or even better work with a retail research team, such as Assosia. And any campaigner should know the biggest story in the past 10 years of supermarkets is how the range of value offerings and value stores has soared. Not knowing the prices in Lidl and Aldi was the underlying fatal error in this whole fiasco.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Feb 13, 2022 3:10 pm

lpm wrote:
Sat Feb 12, 2022 6:16 pm
Meanwhile a proper survey has been done, although only for a basket of 15 food items.

And found the opposite to Monroe's claim - lower inflation for the cheaper goods than the standard range

- value range down 4%
- standard range up 8%

"Looking at food prices is a bit of a minefield" says the spokeswoman for the survey. I wonder who that gentle little comment is aimed at.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60290236
Sightly frustrating that the BBC doesn't link to the report, say what's in the basket or what kind of shops they went to (local vs online). The only example of a budget product getting cheaper is potatoes, and some of these items aren't really in a budget shopper's regular basket:
Other items the firm tracked in the new research for BBC News included tortilla chips, fish fingers, honey, blueberries, carrots and lemons.
Perhaps the UK's poor should be eating more root vegetables, and less pasta with tomato sauce, though.

Can't find owt on Assossia's website either, which instead has lots about how supermarkets have stopped doing promotional prices.

Seems that the supermarket she shops at have admitted the problem and fixed it, which is a decent win for Monroe.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by dyqik » Sun Feb 13, 2022 6:10 pm

lpm wrote:
Sun Feb 13, 2022 12:18 pm
Those goalposts have been shifted further than the walk from Asda to Lidl.

This was supposedly about very high inflation for the poor. 344% price rises. "If the price of a luxury lasagne had risen at the same rate as the cheapest rice in the supermarket, that £7.50 lasagne would now cost £25.80." A whole new price index, blessed by the apostles of St Pratchett, would prove this to the world.

But now it's been shown it's just a stocking issue and prices of key staples haven't changed in a year.

So the campaign's had to claim victory on something else - Asda stocked the cheap range in 300 stores, now they'll carry it in 581 stores.

I think we've got a right to demand integrity and expertise from the "people on our side", same as we demand it from scum Tories. At least basic competence. It's not too much to ask that a food price campaigner should walk 18 minutes to Lidl with a notebook and pen to look at the prices where value customers shop, or jump on a bus to the Aldi four miles away. Or even better work with a retail research team, such as Assosia. And any campaigner should know the biggest story in the past 10 years of supermarkets is how the range of value offerings and value stores has soared. Not knowing the prices in Lidl and Aldi was the underlying fatal error in this whole fiasco.
I'd like to congratulate the campaign on achieving significant price decreases for a number of people.

You keep missing the point that averages only apply on average, and that there are bits of the population where the averages are not relevant. Those that regularly shopped for various reasons at the 281 ASDA stores that stopped stocking those value ranges are now seeing significantly cheaper food prices.

Maybe that's not that many people that had to shop at those stores. But it's probably still some people.

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Re: The cost of living

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Feb 13, 2022 11:23 pm

And shoppers at basically anywhere other than, apparently, Asda, Lidl and Aldi, are all still confronted with the price increases Monroe identified. Which is probably a disproportionately poor cohort.

The lack of choice poverty enforces is exactly what the Vimes Boot thing is about.

Averages need to be the relevant average. But it's also very important to be aware of the implications of the spread around that average.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Feb 14, 2022 1:24 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Feb 13, 2022 11:23 pm
And shoppers at basically anywhere other than, apparently, Asda, Lidl and Aldi, are all still confronted with the price increases Monroe identified.
You have missed where I said:
Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:05 am

I'll do the same for Tesco (all prices from tesco.com).
...
So that's two claims are true, three are false but some increase has occurred, and four are false because the price is the same or lower.
etc. There is no evidence that Monroe has identified a problem at all. Even the part about the number of branches which stock the cheapest ranges is unsupported. Maybe ASDA was already intending to increase the number of branches. Maybe the number now is in fact larger than for Monroe's starting point. If so, I can easily see why ASDA would have seized the chance for some good publicity rather than arguing that they hadn't raised prices and it was all bogus.

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Re: The cost of living

Post by jdc » Mon Feb 14, 2022 6:53 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Feb 14, 2022 1:24 am
There is no evidence that Monroe has identified a problem at all. Even the part about the number of branches which stock the cheapest ranges is unsupported. Maybe ASDA was already intending to increase the number of branches.
According to Asda, the decision to increase the number of stores carrying smart price products was made after the issue of increases in the costs of everyday groceries was highlighted by Monroe (see the link in my post from Saturday).

They're also increasing the online smart price range, and the ONS have announced that they are going to be changing the way they collect and report on the cost of food prices and inflation in response to Monroe's campaigning (see the link in Gfamily's post from Saturday).

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Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Mon Feb 14, 2022 7:24 pm

I'd love to see Asda's internal reports for this particular store. I bet they showed a drop in sales of the value range from the day Lidl opened nearby. They might well have dropped the range because sales got so low. I'm doubtful that there will be any significant purchasing of the 45p rice etc now they brought it back, because this segment of customer has gone for good. Why go to the semi-cheap supermarket when the cheaper supermarket is less than a mile away?

One thing capitalism is good at is getting in new youthful disrupters into a stale old marketplace. If you were here in 2000 your dream for cheaper groceries would have been to have two disrupters coming in hard and fast at the value end of supermarkets, expanding to every part of the country. They not only provide good prices directly, they keep the old big four honest.

But when there's disrupters there's also the disrupted. Woolworths disappeared, Nokia stopped making mobiles, Thomas Cook went bust. Combine change with a period of poor leadership and a company gets into trouble. Looks like it's Asda in this case. They've had to get a entirely new board in the last few months as the old lot has been pushed out. But why should value customers care if Asda's struggling to come up with a coherent strategy if they can just switch to the new Aldi or Lidl?

I'm happy for capitalism to handle the issue of low priced supermarket food, because it's been doing a hell of a good job in the past 10 years.

The ONS made no changes as a result of Monroe's campaign, their projects were already underway. They were merely being polite.
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Re: The cost of living

Post by Trinucleus » Mon Feb 14, 2022 8:43 pm

It's interesting how Lidl and Aldi seem to deliberately pick sites close to the big supermarkets - they clearly aren't scared. And no one's going to undercut them on MIG welders

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