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Is inflation the price we have to pay as a result of covid #financefriday

The transmission rate for covid in the UK continues to rise as the government seems to prefer to ignore the science in favour of trying to keep the economy open. Is it delaying the inevitable? Wetherspoons pub chain reported a loss this morning and Marstons announced job losses. In the long run, people will have to pay more for their pint if they drink in a pub so why haven’t they increased prices?  Prices will also have to go up in cinemas and theatres as they have to get used to smaller audiences. Inflation is the price we will have to pay for not getting this epidemic under control.

the price we have to pay

Leisure industry

It doesn’t need to be higher prices across the board but the leisure industry needs to charge higher prices and the longer it delays the higher the prices will be. It could also be more responsible and encourage social distancing and mask-wearing as an industry so that higher prices could be temporary. The government could even encourage the leisure industry to increase prices and then monitor the overall inflation rate and try to keep it under 4 or 5%. The higher pricing could even be extended to the holiday industry. We know that there will be a price to pay and more expensive booze and holidays might be more acceptable than austerity and more cuts to the NHS which have been a disaster.

Is inflation the price we have to pay?

It seems obvious that prices must go up. Inflation is the price we have to pay for not controlling the epidemic. We can still stay home more and have a can of beer it will just mean an extra 30p on our weekend pint as pubs have fewer customers but take in a similar amount at the till as they used to. It will probably mean fewer staff in some pubs too. Are people willing to pay more for their holidays? It seems likely that travel restriction will need to be applied in the short term anyway. There are far too many people coming and going and spreading the virus. The travel industry needs more investment to keep going but it also needs more revenue so if we are to allow people to have overseas holidays they need to be more expensive. Holidays are too cheap anyway, we need to curb travel to control climate change.

Time to face up to the inevitable

As a nation, it is time to face up to the inevitable and accept we have to take action not only to control the epidemic but to take a responsible approach to climate change. While the government’s pragmatic approach to the pandemic was the right course earlier in the year, its messages now are confused and policing of the regulations virtually non-existent.

Lockdown

We do need another lockdown and the obvious time to do it is the school half term. I think the government may have that in mind and the current restrictions are simply a stop gap. If a half-term lockdown doesn’t stem the transmission of the virus then a Christmas lockdown could be on the cards.

Please wear your mask, obey the law and stay safe. Help keep others safe too.

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