Coventry Socialist Party member Terri Rosser explains how the cost-of-living crisis is taking hold for working-class people.

Record rent rise

Rents rose 4% in 2022 for tenants in the private sector, the highest since records began seven years ago. Landlords passed on higher mortgage rates to tenants. But tenants already pay 24% of their average weekly outgoings on housing.

The Socialist Party calls for democratically set rent controls and a programme of mass council house building to give us all a home we can afford.

Too expensive to own a car, too expensive not to

Workers face a lack of alternative transport to owning a car. 47% believe that there is no other option due to affordability so, on average, they are having to spend a fifth of their income keeping vehicles on the road.

There has also been a significant rise in those paying for cars through finance or a loan deal to 19%. And the Tory government has ended grants for environmentally friendly electric-car purchases, which are already too expensive for working-class people.

Why not take rip-off public transport out of private hands, invest in a high-quality expanded service and provide it for free?

Dying in poverty

The numbers set to die in poverty are growing. People of working age are twice as likely to spend their final year of life in poverty than those currently of retirement age. End of life charity Marie Curie estimates that allowing people with terminal illnesses to access their state pension early, to ease the cost of living, would cost just £114 million a year – a mere tenth of 1% of the annual state pension bill.

The Socialist Party supports boosting the state pension too, to meet the true cost of living.

Unpaid tax

There is £42 billion in unpaid taxes to the Treasury. A lot of this money is dodged by the rich, and could be used for vital public services and an above-inflation public sector pay rise.

No wonder so much is lost. In their austerity drive, the Tories closed down tax offices and sacked tax revenue collectors when they got into power in 2010. The rich actually paying their taxes is a start. Why not tax the super-rich even more? Better still, take the wealth out of their hands by nationalising the banks and big business to be run under democratic working-class control and management