Gareth from the Office: Living with the cost of living

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AS if the price of many of our luxury items wasn’t rising fast enough it seems like one basic essential could be following the trend – food.

Prices for food have been rising sharply across the world and Oxfam has predicted that they will continue to do so for the next 20 years.

Gareth Ellis

Gareth Ellis

Now, I can understand the government not being overly fussed with the price of fuel, I hate it but I understand. A car is a luxury item – despite us claiming that they are essential to get us to and from places they are most certainly a luxury.

If people have to travel less that’s not a major problem but if people are forced to eat less, that is a major problem, and one that the government needs to intervene in.

I think sometimes people take their lives for granted. They don’t realise how good they have things.

If you can feed yourself, can afford your own clothes or can buy yourself something – no matter how small – every now and again, then you are lucky.

Bad weather, natural disasters and other factors have seen prices for some foods rise sharply.

Following the 2008 peaks, when in some cases around the world people demonstrated and even rioted because of a lack of food, good harvests for most basic foods helped prices to fall back.

But in 2010, severe weather in some of the world’s biggest food exporting countries damaged supplies.

That has helped to push food prices almost 20 per cent higher than a year earlier, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Flooding hit the planting season in Canada, and destroyed crops of wheat and sugar cane in Australia.

In addition, drought and fires devastated harvests of wheat and other grains in Russia and the surrounding region during the summer, prompting Russia to ban exports.

But when you’re hungry what do you do? Go to the fridge? Go to the shops? Get yourself a snack and life is sorted again.

But put yourself in the position of the person who is growing that food for you to so easily buy.

When you’re under pressure from your boss at work think of the pressure of getting a decent harvest.

And when you’re down to your last slice of bread and just hop in the car to go and buy another think that someone would kill for a slice of good fortune.

If the government can ignore rising fuel costs that’s one thing. But surely they can’t ignore the world as it goes hungry.

This is not a charity advert, far from it, this is a genuine concern about the ever rising cost of living.