Rising prices and tightening the purse-strings has become a major issue in recent years throughout the UK and, in fact, all over the world. Rising prices are beginning to take their toll on general working citizens, forcing them to cut down their already minimised shopping lists and neglect their luxuries such as heading down to the pub for a drink on a Friday night. The UK has seen many a financial crisis in recent years, including the infamous recession of 2008, and businesses are beginning to struggle now more than ever due to being forced to raise their prices – an act leading to customers being unable to afford the goods they used to buying without a second thought.

Along with the most shocking of the recent price rises, a recent study has shown that the prices of draft alcohols such as beer and cider have seen an increase of almost 2000%, the figure rising from as little as 14p a pint in 1973 to £2.87 this year. Shocking, right? Drinks that cost pennies to produce are being bumped up to maximum prices, causing local punters to take their business elsewhere, or, more commonly, have a drink in the house instead – at a much lower cost. This rise over just four decades is truly incredible, especially when the government claims it has no choice but to raise the price of such drinks in order to combat alcoholism and other drinking-related diseases. Isn’t this, however, discriminating against the people that wish to have a couple of drinks to wind down at the end of a busy week?

Not only is drinking out becoming too pricey to be feasible, but so is eating out; not just in restaurants, but now, more commonly, in pubs. Eating in ‘pub-restaurants’ has begun costing people just as much, if not more, as eating somewhere upper-class, as these establishments attempt to reboot their images by serving better quality food with higher prices attached to them – meaning that eating in pubs has drawn almost level with restaurant prices. They are beginning to ditch standard ‘pub grub’ such as burgers and fish & chips in favour of salmon and lamb dishes, aiming to bring in bigger and ‘better’ audiences. This has led to the average price of a main course rising by 11% in the last year – another rising figure leading many who used to enjoy a meal with a drink on a Friday night to stay at home instead.

Economists have recently warned that a growing portion of the UK’s disposable income is being devoured by basic spending in pubs, shops, and at the petrol pump. It has been discovered that sales have risen in shop-own brands and decreased in luxury brands such as Kellogg’s and Cadbury’s as customers begin to opt for the cheaper options. This is just some of the evidence showing a worsening of the situation as predicted by the government. Slow wage growth, along with rapidly increasing prices of most necessity and luxury products, may leave many people struggling to feed their families.

As has been on our minds for many years, and is likely to remain there for years to come, the value of money is rapidly falling, meaning that, due to rising prices, the pound is worth less – especially during your weekly food shop. Lloyds Bank have estimated that by the year 2053, shoppers will spend £311 for every £100 they spend today, really epitomising the extreme rise in prices and impending struggle in store for the UK. Looking back, spending £9.48 in 1973 is equal to £100 today – this, I bet, is putting the extent of this issue into perspective for many of you; the value of money having fallen by 91%. The question on everyone’s lips is therefore how will you ever afford your weekly shop at that price? There are, however, no answers for us on that front yet.

It is however not just alcohol and grocery prices that have risen beyond recognition. Petrol prices are now 17 times as high as they were a couple of years ago, which means many drivers are finding it difficult to afford filling their cars up weekly to get to work, as well as struggling to feed their families or have any form of social life at all, or at least, one that does not involve spending great volumes of money on buying a snack.

Although this is something that has been discussed repetitively over the last couple of years, it is unlikely that this is the last of it. The situation is only set to worsen over the coming years – and – let’s hope that we aren’t forced to put our hands in our pockets any more than we already do for our bog-standard products, or who knows where we’ll end up.

References:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/10682032/Beer-bubble-how-price-of-a-pint-has-risen-twenty-fold.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/pubs/10672433/Thats-hard-to-swallow-Pub-food-prices-draw-level-with-restaurants.html