‘Led by incompetents’ Farage blasts those blaming conflict in Ukraine for inflation

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Prices are rising at their fastest rate for 40 years, with inflation jumping to nine percent in the 12 months to April. Boris Johnson told Parliament this week that concerns over living costs were “global” and have been “greatly exacerbated” by the war in Ukraine.

But critics have argued this is just the latest booster of prices, and not the beginning of the crisis.

The former UKIP and Brexit Party leader pointed to the latest Retail Price Index figure, this being a measure of inflation, which has hit 11.1 percent.

He wrote in a post on Twitter: “The Bank of England and Number 10 want to blame Ukraine but inflation was already here.

“We are being led by incompetents.”

The figure has risen every month bar two for the past 20 months.

The Consumer Price Index, another measure of inflation, has also risen significantly since at least as far back as August 2020.

At this time, it lay at 0.5 percent. In April, it hit 7.8.

Macroeconomist Philip Pilkington said we should not be surprised by these increases.

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He wrote in UnHerd that one of the primary drivers of our current financial state is Government-imposed lockdowns. This he described as “macroeconomics 101”.

Mr Pilkington highlighted the way in which the response to Covid interfered both with economic supply and demand, noting: “During social distancing, for example, pubs and restaurants could only operate at partial capacity; thus, they had to raise their prices to ensure continuous revenue…

“The lockdown has also juiced the demand side. The massive increases in Government expenditure injected huge amounts of spending into the economy at the same time as supply was restricted.”

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Financial writer Matthew Lynn added in the Spectator that inflation is one of the largest “scandals” of lockdown and will cause “lasting political damage”.

Even where the war in Ukraine is concerned, it appears there is a disconnect between the financial problem and its cause.

Mr Johnson referred in Parliament to the fact it has caused global prices to spike, thus hurting Britain’s own coffers.

The cost of the UK’s support for Ukraine, with arms, for example, and of its sanctions against Russia are less often touched upon.

In February, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss conceded that we will “have to undergo some economic hardship as a result of our sanctions”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also noted following his Spring Statement that the UK’s responsive measures to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “are not cost free for us here at home”.

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