Readers' letters: Wage rises are not driving inflation

While the government focuses on political posturing as usual - comparing trade union action with the little understood Winter of Discontent of the 70s, implying that irresponsible trade unionism is rampant again - the reality is that public sector strike action deserves closer investigation.

We have inflationary times ahead because of global factors, not wage rises or irresponsible trade unions.

With only a quarter of the workforce in trades unions now (mainly in the public sector) there are no grounds for claiming that trade union action has been causing inflation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Most rises have been in the private sector of late (up around 8 per cent) while the public sector growth has been around 1.5 per cent.

Government policies to limit inflation are very limited. While the Bank of England has created a modest rise in interest rates, the government's goal is to dampen wage demand. This is not the big stick that can curb inflation quickly.

Brexit factors dilute their effectiveness. A weak pound, higher trade costs, failure to get a good trade deal with the EU or the USA, reduced investment and shortages of workers in key sectors make for countervailing forces.

In the modern dog eat dog world of the Neoliberals, trades unions will strike because there is a need to demonstrate the value and indispensability of utilitities to the economy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If they don't demand to be heard, many public sector workers will slip into grinding poverty.

And the ideologically based government policy of holding wages down will just ensure that the UK will experience recession as well as inflation.

This double whammy is called stagflation and like a stag night it can leave one with a nasty hangover

Do we want a declining UK Plc or should we choose a government next time round that plans well and does not focus on laisser faire and political posturing?

Andrew Vass, Edinburgh.

Start independence early – buy Scottish

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When my local supermarket ran out of the large eggs I normally buy, and the supermarket down the road did not, I wondered why.

Not far to go for the answer! The local British one only stocks English eggs covered in Union Jacks and the other stocks local Scottish eggs.

This train strike, if nothing else, should show every Scot the benefits of buying and encouraging local produce until we become as self-sufficient as possible.

If it takes a European supermarket chain to show us that locally sourced food is cheaper and more reliable than dependence on imports from south of the Border, many of us must have our heads in the sand.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However if this time we get the message that running our own country, being able to source local staple foods easily and cheaply as well as others from Europe and the UK. is the best way forward then this train strike has not been in vain.

Scotland settled our rail strike, but we are now suffering from Westminster’s hard line stupidity. Roll on the referendum.

Elizabeth Scott, Edinburgh.

Indyref 2 would be an insult to the Queen

In the many comments about Nicola Sturgeon's plans for another Scottish independence referendum‎ in 2023 no mention has been made of their insensitivity and disrespect to the Queen.

Scottish separation would hardly be a just reward for ‎her dedicated duty and loyal service to the United Kingdom for over 70 years.

Tim Jackson, Gullane.

Write to the Edinburgh Evening News

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

We welcome your thoughts. Write to [email protected] including name, address and phone number – we won't print full details. Keep letters under 300 words, with no attachments. If referring to an article, include date, page number and heading.


Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.