The IEA Cost of Living Debate 2014
Since the recession officially ended in the UK in 2009, the cost of living has become a major political issue. Wage freezes and price inflation have resulted in living standards declining for millions of Britons. In real terms, salaries remain at the level of 2004 while the price of energy, food and housing continues to rise.
With the economy now recovering, what can the government do to ease the cost of living? George Osborne has taken a penny off a pint of beer and reduced the tax on bingo. Ed Miliband wants to freeze energy prices. Others have called for rent controls.
Christopher Snowdon, Director of Lifestyle Economics, IEA
Katie Schmuecker, Poverty Programme Manager, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Matthew Oakley, Head of Economic Analysis, Which?
Alexander Hilton, Director, Generation Rent
Kristian Niemietz, Poverty Research Fellow, IEA