Current Talks Leading To Progress (but not for us!)
It appears that the days of reasonable priced oil may be coming to an abrupt end with a meeting of the OPEC countries leading to what has been described as ‘progress‘. In recent weeks petrol prices at the pumps have been rising steadily, now well about the £1/Litre that it fell to, as oil producers fought for market domination. However, the financial hit they were prepared to take in order to further their ambitions has ceilinged out, and so we will now see a reduction in the amount of oil produced. Not only will this have an impact on the cost of oil, more importantly the knock-on effect to other sectors, including transport and retail, will see a return to an economy at the mercy of inflation. This in itself is not good for UK consumers, however, the outlook is far bleaker. For the past 6 years, the Conservative government, has been responsible for one of the largest transfers of public debt in to private debt that has ever occurred. They have encouraged individuals to take on enormous levels of personal debt, with many families dependant on credit just to make ends meet on a monthly basis. The question is, as inflation begins to creep back in to the economy, how resilient will we be?
It seems that the Tories, the party supposedly most trusted to manage the economy, have perversely done the complete opposite. Austerity has seen a reduction in public spending that hasn’t been seen in generations. The very group of people who can be counted on whatever the financial situation to actually spend money within their local economy, are the very ones who have seen their family benefits reduced or completely taken away. We also cannot dismiss the car crash that is Brexiti (whatever Brexit actually means), and the continuing uncertainty that is being created by a Prime Minister who appears to be as lost as the proverbial needle in a hay-stack. Will the Chancellor Mr Hammond be able to offer any solutions? On the basis of the last 6 years, I have to say, I’m not holding my breath.