Various news reports last week put the current rate of inflation at between 2.7% and 7%, depending on the criteria and timescales used. At the same time, interest rates rose to 1%, their highest level for some time. We are accustomed now to the idea that we are in a cost-of-living crisis, but just how bad is it? I would suggest, a lot worse than many people realise. The energy costs and fuel price rises have been well documented, and are way above the quoted rate of inflation. Surprisingly, when you think back to the fuel crisis of 2000, most people seem to have absorbed these without too much complaint. The Government has managed to divert attention from their misguided policies by apportioning blame to external factors. A favourite scapegoat is Covid-19, but the virus itself was not to blame. It was the untold billions wasted on pointless measures in response that did the damage. If that won’t wash as an excuse anymore, then the convenient crisis in Ukraine makes a good substitute.