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Cost of living crisis

No, we’re not all in this together

And have you seen the price of organic pasta? Getty

Handwringing over the rising cost of energy has awoken a tribe not seen since the 2008 credit crunch, says Julian Baggini in The Guardian: “thriftifarians”. These people moan constantly on social media about the coming “crisis”. They show off about how much longer they’re going to leave it before turning on the central heating this winter, and complain about the rocketing price of organic pasta. Yet for all their supposed belt-tightening, they haven’t stopped splashing the cash in restaurants, bars, theatres and elsewhere. And they’ll easily be able to handle their energy bills rising by the expected £3.50 a day, which is “far less than the price of a pint of beer”.

This isn’t just a “vice of the most privileged”. According to the forecasts of spiking food and fuel bills, the average household will have to spend an extra £140 on these “essentials” each month. Of course, plenty of people already live at the limits of their means, but for those without hefty mortgage repayments or major debts, the “cost-of-living crisis” will be basically fine. Given the median household has a disposable income of around £2,600 a month, more than half the country won’t blink. Of course, nobody wants to “callously flaunt the fact that they’re alright” when plenty of others aren’t. But there’s something “distasteful” about pretending we’re all in this together, when the whole point is “we’re not”.