Cutting the cost of living

Cutting the cost of living

British households continue to face the dire realities of a worsening cost of living crisis, which the Government has rightly made its number one priority.

A new Centre for Policy Studies briefing paper today outlines a host of measures that the Government could implement immediately to help address the short term challenges of the cost of living crisis – most at minimal or no cost to the Treasury.

The Government must begin by immediately conducting a cross-Whitehall assessment of the next two years’ worth of proposed policy changes and ensure that they do not impose any additional charges on individuals and households. If they do, they must be either delayed or scrapped entirely.

All departments should also be asked to produce a list of charges they currently impose on households and ask whether they are necessary.

Alongside this review, efforts should be aimed at tackling areas that impose the greatest financial burdens on households: housing, energy, food and childcare.

The paper sets out a number of proposals: taking the £153 green levy off consumer bills and directing it to general taxation, unilaterally abolishing tariffs on all imports and cutting regulation on childcare to minimise costs.

These are only short-term solutions. But alongside whatever fiscal measures the Treasury introduces, the Government must also focus on supply side reforms – such as green R&D – to unleash economic growth, increase our resilience and boost living standards in the longer term.

Karl Williams, report author and Senior Researcher at the CPS, said:

“The cost of living crisis is showing no signs of abating any time soon. The ideas we have put forward today can support families in the short term, at very little or no cost to the Treasury.

“However, these steps must be supported by longer term supply-side reforms if the Government is to deliver the economic growth that the UK desperately needs.”

Karl Williams - Wednesday, 18th May, 2022