POLL—Are Liz Truss and the mini-budget to blame for soaring inflation?

James Cleverly defends government's actions amid inflation crisis

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UK inflation hit double digits last month as consumer prices rose to 10.1 percent, according to official figures. This comes as the economy grabbles with the cost of living crisis and aftermath of the mini-budget. But are Prime Minister Liz Truss and former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s policies to blame for soaring inflation? Vote in our poll.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the consumer prices index measure increased from 9.9 percent in August to match the recent 40-year high seen in July.

Food prices are rising at their fastest rate since April 1980, while fuel provided the greatest downside pressure.

ONS director of economic statistics, Darren Morgan, said: “The rise was driven by further increases across food, which saw its largest annual rise in over 40 years, while hotel prices also increased after falling this time last year. 

“These rises were partially offset by continuing falls in the costs of petrol, with airline prices falling by more than usual for this time of year, and second-hand car prices also rising less steeply than the large increases seen last year. While still at a historically high rate, the costs facing businesses are beginning to rise more slowly, with crude oil prices actually falling in September.”

The figures come as Ms Truss faces mounting calls from MPs over her economic policies and series of U-turns. September’s inflation figure will be used to calculate April’s rise in state pension and benefit increases. It will also be used to review the triple-lock pension commitment.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee were forced to increase the nation’s base rate of interest from 1.75 to 2.25 percent earlier this month. While this helped to curb the impact of inflation it is still at a concerning level and remains well above the Government’s target of two percent

Paul Heywood, the Chief Data and Analytics officer at Equifax UK said: “The Government’s fiscal U-turn may have steadied the markets, but it has done little to balance the books for households across the UK.

“Prices for everyday items continue to rise, and while the cost of keeping homes lit and warm has been capped until April next year, they are still 96 percent higher than last winter, and are one of the biggest costs eating away at real wages.”

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In response to the latest inflation data, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “I understand that families across the country are struggling with rising prices and higher energy bills.

“This Government will prioritise help for the most vulnerable while delivering wider economic stability and driving long-term growth that will help everyone.

“We have acted decisively to protect households and businesses from significant rises in their energy bills this winter, with the Government’s energy price guarantee holding down peak inflation.”

Mr Hunt will set out Britain’s “medium-term fiscal plan” and share an analysis of the situation from the Office for Budget Responsibility on October 31.

But what do YOU think? Are Liz Truss and the mini-budget to blame for soaring inflation? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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