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How could the cost-of-living crisis be eased?

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Written by: Emma Lunn
18/05/2022
The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) reckons it knows the answer and has proposed a number of simple and low-cost ways the government could help UK households as prices rise.

The think tank has published a briefing paper which outlines a host of measures that the government could implement immediately to help address the short-term challenges of the cost of living crisis – most at minimal or no cost to the Treasury.

The CPS says the government must begin by immediately conducting a cross-Whitehall assessment of the next two years’ worth of proposed policy changes and ensure that they don’t impose any additional charges on individuals and households. It says that if they do, they must be either delayed or scrapped entirely.

The CPS goes on to suggest that all departments should be asked to produce a list of charges they currently impose on households and ask whether they are necessary.

Alongside this review, the CPS says efforts should be aimed at tackling areas that impose the greatest financial burdens on households: housing, energy, food and childcare.

The paper sets out a number of proposals: taking the £153 green levy off consumer bills and directing it to general taxation, unilaterally abolishing tariffs on all imports and cutting regulation on childcare to minimise costs.

But it says these are only short-term solutions and the government must also focus on supply side reforms to unleash economic growth, increase our resilience and boost living standards in the longer term.

Karl Williams, report author and senior researcher at the CPS, said: “The cost of living crisis is showing no signs of abating any time soon. The ideas we have put forward today can support families in the short term, at very little or no cost to the Treasury.

“However, these steps must be supported by longer term supply-side reforms if the government is to deliver the economic growth that the UK desperately needs.”

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