Here's a Christmas cheer up fact: this year's Christmas lunch is set to be the cheapest since 2011. In fact, In fact, global food prices have hit a seven-year low. Who do we have to thank? Technology and the free market.
Food prices have come down from a particularly high peak. Back in 2012, rocketing food price inflation every year was a serious concern. So what has changed?
One major driver of the price of food is the price of fuel. In 2012, the average price of a barrel of oil was $109. Today it is under $40. Over the last few years, fracking in America has unleashed a wave of new supply. That has not only cut the cost of fuel, but also cut production costs in agriculture and industry.
This is helping break the oil cartel. Saudi Arabia and others are starting to supply what the market wants, not what it suits oil producers to produce.
Britain isn't feeling the full benefits of cheap oil though. The cost of petrol at the pump hasn't dropped anywhere near as much as the wholesale price. Neither have energy bills. Why? Because Government regulations and taxes on fossil fuels keep costs up.
The Government's campaign against fossil fuels doesn't just affect the price of energy. It raises the cost of basic necessities across the board. A tax on fuel is a tax on food too.
Many people across Britain still have to scrimp and save to provide their Christmas lunch. Farmers and factories struggle to break even every year. By keeping energy prices artificially high, the Government puts unnecessary pressure families and businesses. Cutting regressive green taxes would be a nice Christmas bonus for all of us.
P.S. It's also December 21st - the shortest day of the year. The days can only now get longer...
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