‘Scourge of corporate profiteering’ must be stopped to tackle inflation

The latest figures put inflation at 10.1%

An image showing bank notes and pound coins

The latest figures show that inflation is still astonishingly high. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) level of inflation for March was 10.1%. While this was a slight drop on February, it means that prices are still increasing at a much faster rate than has been typical in previous years.

Alongside this, food inflation was at a staggering 17.2% in March according to the consumer group Which?.

What’s driving the rise in prices? If you were to listen to the Tories and the right wing press, striking workers standing up for fair pay are to blame.

Of course this is nonsense. As Unite has repeatedly highlighted, it is corporate profiteering which has been driving inflation. The union has found that in the first half of 2022 profits at FTSE 350 firms were 89% higher compared to the same period in 2019.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank has today said that tackling this ‘greedflation’ is key to getting a grip on the cost of living crisis and rising prices.

Responding to the ONS CPI figures for March Dr George Dibb, head of the Centre for Economic Justice at IPPR, said:  

“Household budgets are feeling the pressure from high inflation, which remains in the double digits according to new data. Even though petrol prices have fallen, the cost of essential items like food continues to rise.  

“While families struggle to make ends meet, some companies continue to make higher profits from these price hikes, ignoring the impact on consumers. It’s time for policymakers to look at ‘greedflation’ and prioritise reining in corporate profits, instead of blaming workers’ wages for driving up inflation.” 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham made similar comments. She said: “These latest inflation figures change nothing for workers. The public are beginning to cotton on that it’s not wage rises driving prices its rampant corporate profiteering. There’ll be no end in sight to the crisis until we tackle that scourge.

“So while politicians and policy makers snooze at the wheel, Unite’s ongoing fight to win better jobs, pay and conditions continues.”

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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