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.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 7:00 am

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.

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.

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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.

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

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.

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.

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