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Train fares rise by 5%

Gas 15%+

Electricity 10%+

Council Tax 5%

Oil at higest levels, Wheat prices have doubled since the turn of the year.






Inflation 2.5% (and therefore wage rises)


Sorry but i just dont get it. Anyone with a economics degree explain this in lay mans terms?

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Just don?t know how we can pay these bills on a fixed income, something has to give somewhere. The councils and big companies are really taking the Mickey by putting up prices by figures that that are just dreamed up. The government is just as bad by letting them get away it and also for following their example. Where is it all going to end? People are having their assets stripped to the bone, whilst MP's bask in glory letting the country spiral down in everyway, surely this is the best way to civil unrest, looting and anarchy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm going to try and explain this as simply as possible....bear with me.....


In answer to your original question the government uses The CPI and the RPI to calculate the rate of inflation.


The easiest way to think about both the consumer prices index (CPI) and retail prices index (RPI) is to imagine a ?shopping basket? containing the goods and services which people typically spend their money. As the prices of the various items in the basket change over time, so does the total cost of the basket.


Movements in the CPI and RPI indices represent the changing cost of this representative shopping basket.


The difficulty arises when the government decide to exclude certain items from the basket.....and this can lead to skewed figures.....


The government's target is to keep inflation at 2% so naturally (not that I'm cynical or anything!) they will try to engineer the calculation so it is near enough (but as you can see at 2.5 the government has already over shot its own target!)


The full list of goods included in the 2007 target are listed below. If any of you are bored enough you might want to produce a spreadsheet noting costs this March and compare them to next March and see how much you think inflation has risen by. But note: that the calculation isn't as simple as I have described as each item has it's own "expenditure weighting" depending on how often something is bought....eg: you will buy more bread than washing machines over the year so the calculation has to be adjusted to reflect this.




Large white loaves - sliced and unsliced

Large wholemeal loaf

Bread rolls

Pitta bread


Flour Rice


Breakfast cereals

Corn based snacks

Biscuits and Cakes

Plain biscuits

Sponge cakes Doughnuts

Pack of individually wrapped cakes

Fruit pies



Rump steak

Braising steak

Mince Topside

Frozen beefburgers

Home-Killed Lamb

Loin chops Shoulder

Imported Lamb

Loin chops Leg


Loin chops Shoulder


Gammon Back


Fresh / chilled chicken

Fresh chicken breasts

Frozen chicken breasts

Fresh turkey steaks

Pork sausages

Cooked meats ? eg ham

Meat pies

Canned meats

Frozen chicken nuggets

Chicken kievs

Fresh Fish

White fish fillets

Salmon fillets

Frozen prawns

Processed Fish

Canned tuna Fish fingers


Home-produced and imported butter

Oils and Fats

Margarine / low fat spread

Cooking oil


Cheddar - home-produced and imported

Other regional cheeses

Selected speciality cheeses

Cheese spread


Various sized eggs


Full-fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk - shop-bought and delivered

Milk Products

Fresh cream

Pro-biotic drink


Fromage frais

Chilled pot dessert


Tea bags

Soft Drinks

Various pure fruit juices


Lemonade Cola

Mineral water

Various fizzy drinks ? cans and bottles

Energy drinks

Sugar and Preserves

Sugar Various jams

Sweets and Chocolates

Various selected popular brands of sweets, chocolates, gum and mints

Unprocessed Potatoes

White loose and pre-packed potatoes ? old and new varieties

Processed Potatoes

Crisps - single and multi-packs Other potato-based snacks

Frozen chips

Fresh Vegetables

Fresh tomatoes Cabbages

Cauliflowers Carrots

Mushrooms Onions

Lettuce Cucumbers

Courgettes Organic vegetable


Processed Vegetables

Canned tomatoes

Canned baked beans

Canned sweet corn

Frozen peas

Fresh Fruit

Cooking apples

Dessert apples







Avocado pears Peaches

Kiwi fruit Organic fruit

Processed Fruit

Various canned fruits Salted peanuts

Other Foods


Various sauces ? eg tomato sauce, mayonnaise, pickle

Ready cooked meals

Other convenience foods ? eg frozen pizza, dehydrated noodles / pasta

Ice cream Baby food

Coffee and Hot Drinks

Ground coffee Instant coffee


Restaurant Meals

Restaurant main course Restaurant sweet course

Restaurant cup of coffee Pub hot meal

Pub cold snack Burgers in bun

In store cafeteria meal Fizzy drinks

Fruit juice Bottled mineral water

Canteen Meals

Staff restaurant main course Staff restaurant dessert/pudding

Staff restaurant hot snack Staff restaurant sandwich

Staff restaurant soft drink Prices for school meals

Take-away and Snacks

Fish and chips Pasties /Savoury pies

Burgers in bun Kebabs

Sandwiches Coffee

Tea Caffe latte

Ethnic take-away Pizza delivery / takeaway

Soft drinks Crisps

Cinema popcorn Vending machine drink

Alcoholic Drink

Beer ?On? Sales

Draught bitter Draught Lager

Draught stout Draught cider

Bottled lager Bottled cider

Beer ?Off? Sales

Canned lager Canned draught flow bitter

Bottled cider Bottled lager

Wines and Spirits ?On? Sales

Whisky Vodka

Wine Champagne

Liqueurs Spirit based drink


Wines and Spirits ?Off? Sales

Whisky Vodka

Brandy Bottled white wine

Bottled red wine Champagne

Wine purchases in boxes Fortified wine

Spirit based drink



Selected brands Vending machine cigarettes


Other Tobacco

Cigars Hand rolling tobacco



Private furnished rent Private unfurnished rent

Local authority rent Registered Social Landlord (RSL) rent

Mortgage Interest

Average interest payments on a typical repayment mortgage (estimated/modelled)


Depreciation costs proxy (price index for houses purchased with a mortgage)

Council Tax

Average council tax bills for households in Great Britain

Average rates bills in Northern Ireland

Water and Other Charges

Average water charges

Average sewerage and environmental charges

Repair and Maintenance Charges

Fees charged by plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators

Gas service charges

DIY Materials

Ready mixed filler Wallpaper

Wallpaper paste Paint

Varnish Paint brush

Various tools - eg hammer drill, screwdriver Aluminium ladder

Door handle Taps

Power point Shower head

Pieces of timber Ceramic tiles

Hire of domestic steam wallpaper stripper Woodscrews

Dwelling Insurance and Ground Rent

Dwelling insurance premiums of selected companies

Ground rent proxy (price index for houses purchased with a mortgage)

Fuel and Light

Coal and Solid Fuels

Coal Smokeless fuel


Average of the electricity companies? tariffs


Average of the gas companies? tariffs

Oil and Other Fuels

Butane gas Kerosene

Household Goods


Dining room furniture ? eg table, chairs

Bedroom furniture ? eg wardrobe, beds, wall hanging mirror

Living room furniture ? eg armchair, sofa bed, leather settee, bookcase, table lamp

Kitchen furniture ? various kitchen units

Office furniture ? Home office desk

Outdoor furniture ? eg wooden patio set


Selected carpets Other floor coverings

Rug Curtains

Fabric roller blind Duvet

Duvet cover Bed sheet


Electrical Appliances

Cooker ? electric Washing machine

Fridge / freezer Microwave oven

Dishwasher Vacuum cleaner

Cordless telephone Mobile phone handsets

Selected small appliances ? eg iron, kettle, fan heater, fan

Personal appliances ? eg hair dryer, electric razor

Other Household Equipment

Cooker - gas Gas fire

Kitchen equipment - eg ovenware, pans, scissors, plastic food container

Tableware - eg crockery set, cutlery set

Glassware - eg tumbler

Household Consumables

Washing powder Washing-up liquid

Dishwasher tablets Light bulbs

Aluminium foil Toilet rolls

Kitchen roll Fabric conditioner

Bin liners Household cream cleaner


Ball point pen Wrapping paper

Envelopes Greeting card

Printer paper Inkjet cartridge

Clear sticky tape Batteries

Pet Care

Cat and dog food ? moist and dry

Small pet ? eg hamster Animal cage

Vets? fees Annual booster injection

Dog kennel boarding fees

Household Services

Postal Charges

Charges for letters, parcels, postal orders

Telephone Charges

Fixed line telephone charges ? eg line/instrument rentals, call and operator charges

Mobile phone charges ? PAYG and contract Mobile downloads

Subscription to the Internet Cost of directory enquiries

Domestic Services

Domestic help fees In home care assistant fees

Childminder fees Nanny fees

Playgroup fees After school club charges

Gardeners? fees Window cleaning

Dry cleaning charges Driving lesson fee

Home delivery charges Charge for home removals

Self-storage fees

Charge various electrical equipment repairs - eg washing machine, TV, PC

Electrical service charges

Cost of catering for a function Charge for watch repairs

Fees and Subscriptions

Trade unions and professional organisations subscriptions

Estate agents? fees

House conveyancing fees Surveyors? fee for house valuation

Charge for home buyers? survey Home contents? insurance premiums

Fee for birth and death certificates Marriage licences

Passport fee Various bank fees ? eg overdraft charges

Money transfer fees Foreign exchange commission

Driving test fees Private school fees

Evening classes Solicitors? fees ? including will drafting

UK University tuition fees Cost of basic funeral / cremation

Pet insurance

Charges for advertisements in newspapers - local, national


Mens? Outerwear

Suit Casual Coat

Trousers - formal, casual Casual jacket

Fleece Jeans

Jumper Various shirts

Tracksuit bottoms T-shirts

Shorts Replica football team shirt

Branded sports sweatshirt

Womens? Outwear

Blouses Skirts

Dresses Trousers

Jeans T-shirt

Tops Shorts

Cardigan Jackets

Casual Coat Jumper

Rainwear Swimwear

Childrens? Outerwear

Schoolwear ? trousers, skirts Tops ? sports and fashion


Jumpers/sweatshirts Jackets

Babygro/sleepsuit Trousers

Other Clothing

Underwear ? eg pants and bra Socks

Tights Nightwear ? eg nightdress/pyjamas

Tie Scarf

Knitting wool


Shoes ? formal, school, casual and fashion

Boots ? formal, fashion and outdoor/adventure

Training shoes ? sportswear and casual


Personal Goods and Services

Personal Articles

Umbrella Handbag

Watch Spectacle frames

Prescription lenses Contact lenses

Luggage ? trolley case Flower vase

Picture / photo frame Wall hanging mirror

Various items of personal jewellery

Chemists? Goods

NHS prescription charges Multi-vitamins tablets

Condoms Tampons

Disposable nappies Tissues

Selected medicines and surgical goods - eg indigestion tablets, pain killer tablets, packets

of cold/flu drink powder, plasters

Toiletries - eg toilet soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, shower gel, shampoo, hair

gel, permanent hair colourant, razor cartridge blades, sunscreen cream / lotion

Various cosmetics - eg lipstick, face cream, perfume, mascara, liquid foundation

Personal Services

Hairdressing charges Full leg wax

Basic manicure Dental charges

Eye tests charges Dental insurance

Subscriptions to private medical plans Private surgery fees

Non NHS medical services ? eg physiotherapy, chiropractic medicine

Residential and nursing home fees

Slimming club fees Delivered flowers

Motoring Expenditure

Purchase of Motor Vehicles

Second-hand cars Proxy for new cars

New motorcycles Second-hand motorcycles


Maintenance of Motor Vehicles

Car service MOT test fee

Roadside recovery services Car steering lock

Automatic car wash

Exhaust / brake fitting at fast fit auto centre

Hourly labour charge for car mechanical repairs

Selected spare parts and accessories - eg wiper blade, battery, tyres

Petrol and Oil

Ultra low sulphur petrol Ultra low sulphur diesel

Motor oil

Vehicle Tax and Insurance

Vehicle excise duty

Selection of premiums charged by a sample of motor insurance companies

Fares and Other Travel Costs

Rail Fares

UK rail fares London Transport fares

EuroTunnel fares

Bus and Coach Fares

Fares charged by principal bus and coach operators

Other Travel Costs

Taxi fares Minicab fares

Self-drive car and van hire charges Various ferry and sea fares

Air fares Road tolls

Other means of transport - eg bicycles, boats Car park charges

Leisure Goods

Audio-visual Equipment

Colour televisions - including flat panel large and small sizes

DVD player Digital radio

DVD recorder Personal MP3 player

PCs ? desktop and laptop Audio systems

PC peripherals Satellite navigation system

CDs and Tapes

Pre-recorded DVDs, including DVDs purchased over the Internet

CDs, including CDs purchased over the Internet

Recordable CD Selected CD-ROMs

Recordable DVD Music downloads

Toys, Photographic and Sports Goods

Various toys, including some toys purchased over the Internet ? eg soft toys, construction

toys, activity toys, dolls

Board games Computer games consoles

Computer games Digital camera

Digital camcorder Disposable cameras

Camera film Film and digital processing

Acoustic guitar Child?s swing

Child?s tricycle Sleeping bag

Barbecue (gas)

Sports equipment ? eg golf balls, squash racquet, football, fishing rod, football boots

Water sports equipment ? eg windsurfing equipment

Books and Newspapers

Adult and childrens? fiction and non-fiction paperback and hardback books ? including

some books purchased over the Internet

National daily newspapers Sunday newspapers

Provincial newspapers

Adults' periodicals Childrens? periodicals

Gardening Products


Selected varieties of plants, bushes, cut flowers, seeds

Garden sundries - eg garden spade, gloves


Leisure Services

TV Licences and rental

Television licence fees Rentals for various types of TV

DVD and video cassette recorder rental Rentals for DVD films

Digital television monthly subscription fees Cable TV subscriptions

Entertainment and Recreation

Squash court hire Fees for leisure evening classes

Charges for exercise classes Private health club / gym membership

Ten-pin bowling session Horse racing admissions

Golf green fees

Admission to cinemas, theatres, dancing, live music, football matches, historic

monuments, museums, leisure parks and other attractions, swimming pools, leisure


Foreign Holidays

Package holidays covering a range of foreign destinations, accommodation and holiday

types, including late-booked holidays

Holiday insurance

UK Holidays

Package holidays covering a range of UK destinations, accommodation and holiday types

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Not sure if that was a sarcastic comment or not from Agamemnon but I tried to make my post simple at Adrian's request for someone to explain the calculation in "layman's terms". So I wasn't talking down to anyone. :confused:


And yes the last time I checked I was definitely female....


Not sure what your problem is though.....

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A report on Radio 5 the other day predicted that beer taxed at inflation plus 2% plus other unpredictable costs may cost ?6.50 a pint in four years. Of course this has nothing to do with increased taxation for the Treasury but is an effort to combat binge drinking(if you believe that I've a bridge for sale you may be interested in purchasing)I used to be a Socialist but in my dotage I may be turning into a Libertarian. I'm sick and tired of the nanny state telling me how to live my life. Don't drink...don't smoke..don't drive a motor car.

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