Inflation figures should be 'stark reality check' for Gov

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Tackling inflation: Gov must bring down the cost of energy, food and drink through tax cuts (Credit: Getty/JohnnyGreig)
Tackling inflation: Gov must bring down the cost of energy, food and drink through tax cuts (Credit: Getty/JohnnyGreig)

Related tags Finance Government NTIA

Recent inflation figures should be a “stark reality check” for the Government, the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has stated.

Data released yesterday (Wednesday 21 June) by the Office For National Statistics (ONS) revealed the UK’s inflation rate remained​ at 8.7% in the year to May 2023, the same rate as April this year​.

NTIA​ CECO Michael Kill said: “This is a stark reality check for the Government, leaving inflation incredibly high is having a huge impact on consumers and businesses spend and investment.

Strengthen trade

“Even with warmer weather and numerous bank holidays and national celebrations to strengthen trade, it has not been enough to alleviate the onerous cost of operating for businesses or extend the frequency or spend of consumers looking to go out and enjoy a meal, music event or a social drink amongst friends.”

Month-on-month, inflation rates stood at 0.7% in May 2023, the same as in May last year, despite previous data from ONS having indicated inflationary figures were beginning to show a downward trend, falling from 10.1% in March.

The figures showed food and non-alcoholic beverage prices increase by 18.4% in the year to May 2023, down from 19.1% and 19.2% in April and March this year respectively, the latter of which was the highest annual rate in more than 45-years.

However, month-on-month figures showed a 0.9% upswing between April and May this year, after increases of 1.5% compared with the same period two years ago.

Bureaucratic limitations

The slowing in the annual rate for food costs was driven by downward contributions in milk, cheese and egg prices, with the annual rate easing to 27.4%, from 29.3% in April.

Fish prices, however, increased from 14.2% in the year to April 2023 to 16.6% in the year to May, attributed to a rise in the cost of canned tuna, which offset the rise in the annual rate.

Moreover, data from accountancy firm Price Bailey​ earlier this month revealed some 200 pubs had closed their doors for good in the first three months of this year alone, while 22% were trading with reduced hours, attributed to a mix of rail strikes​, the cost-of-living-crisis, staffing issues and energy costs.

Kill added: “The Government must consider tackling inflation by bringing down the costs of energy, food and drink through tax cuts, and look to ease workforce shortages, with broader considerations around deregulation, and the ability for businesses to invest in expanding trade without bureaucratic limitations or timescales.”

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