The Causes of the Cost of Living Crisis

MG shall be in attendance at this debate organised by Libertarian Home:

Date: 23rd October
Time: 1900 – 2200
Location: The Drama Studio, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

The left has sought to make the Cost of Living a part of its intellectual territory. Market liberals have thus far failed to claim it, but not for the want of trying.

While it is the lower and middle classes that feel the pinch of inflation and stagnant wages, all classes have to pay prices for essentials that sometimes seem unjustifiable. What makes the Cost of Living so high in the first place?

Libertarian Home is assembling a balanced panel of speakers who will consider each of several causes in turn. Expert witnesses will bring their perspectives and answer questions from the panel and the audience.

Is the Cost of Living rightfully and exclusively an issue for the left? Do free market reformers really care? Who is to blame and what can be done about it?

Confirmed Speakers
Kristian Niemietz – Institute of Economic Affairs
Yaron Brook – Ayn Rand Institute
James Bloodworth – Editor of Left Foot Forward
Christopher Snowdon – Institute of Economic Affairs
Chris Mounsey – Libertarian blogger and activist
Duncan Stott – Liberal Democrat and activist for Priced Out
Lee Rotherham – EU expert and TPA research fellow
Ben Etheridge – Assistant professor at the University of Essex

Brief profiles of all speakers are available at Libertarian Home.

Further details and tickets


  1. Bunny says:

    One of the big arguments from the market side of the argument is surely that the market is distorted by levies and duties which add to the cost of things so that the actual cost is distorted by these additions. The biggest cost of government is welfare, perhaps this death spiral of increasing welfare need and increasing costs is driving the ‘cost of living crisis’ and that people cannot borrow their way to affluence anymore.

    This is something the right can really get hold of and drive, best of luck and I hope for good results.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      Given some of the names on the panel, I suspect those things will be mentioned.

  2. john77 says:

    Umm! The cost of living crisis does not look like a crisis to those who like me earned less than half the current minimum wage (adjusted for inflation – without that adjustment my weekly wage of £6 was less than Blair’s hourly wage) when we were young.
    Youmg Ed Millionaireband has latched onto what appears to be a problem for the wimps who cannot survive without all the luxuries that the Rowntree Foundation consider to be essentials.
    However this a fallacy. If you want to see whether the wages of working people are keeping up with the cost of living then you do not want to compare the average wage of those now in work with those who were in work one year ago plus inflation. You should either compare the incomes of those now in work with *their* incomes a year ago or compare the current incomes of those in work a year ago with their current incomes. Ed Miliband and his journalist friends are simply lying.
    The average income of those now in work is *higher* – adjusted for inflation – than it was a year ago. Go and shout it!

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      I’ve seen the headline figures (~0.7%) but not the detail. Do the ONS stats cover the point you are making?

  3. john77 says:

    Not on a single page, because ONS produces the statistics according to the definitions given (usually when the series was set up but sometimes at a later date when the government directs a change). However as I can read numbers (=do sums easily) I can think about what they mean
    Latest employment numbers 30.763m x latest wages £479 = £14.735 bn
    Year ago employment numbers 30.027m x then wages £475 = £14.263 bn
    Entered work since year ago x JSA .736m x 71.7 = £.053bn
    Growth in earnings/JSA = 14.763/14.316 = 3.12% versus CPI growth of 1.2%
    And that is assuming everyone was on the higher rate of JSA not on the lower rate for those 18-24.
    The growth in average income is actually greater than the 1.9% shown by this simple calculation since those retiring have pensions greater than the entry-level wages/JSA of those replacing them in the work-force (for instance if I drew my state pension mine would be more than twice my starting salary after adjusting for inflation). I don’t have the data to demonstrate the amount of this effect but since state pension is greater than JSA, it is indisputable this has an additional impact.
    I am a sensitive soul and really dislike people lying about numbers.