Chuck out the fags- smartphones and online dating are what we buy now
As we all know, those bureaucrats up at City Hall know exactly what we, the common populace, spend our money on, and the annual review of the inflation basket has taken place, chucking some old hat items out and including some shiny new ones.
The consumer prices index basket isn’t a real basket, or even a shopping trolley as it hold 650 items, and the ONS collects about 180,000 separate price quotations of this basket of items in 150 areas of the UK. Every year, the contents of the basket are reviewed to make sure the items accurately reflect our actual spends.
So, for 2011, ringtones and wallpaper downloads for mobile phones are out, replaced by smart phones and their apps. Can you believe it has taken this long? Also getting dumped are rose bushes and vending machine cigarettes. Presumably no-one can afford the £9 it costs to extract some smokes from one of those smug boxes anymore. Instead, we have hair conditioner (did no one use this before?) and online dating to satisfy our vices. I have personally never tried hair conditioner for vice, but presumably it smells nicer and looks a little less suspect on the bathroom shelf than baby oil. Unless you are follically challenged, that is.
Other changes include swapping pork shoulder for oven ready joints and introducing dried fruit and sparkling wine to replace vet fees for spaying a cat. Perhaps you need the wine for Dutch courage before strolling to the river with your big brown sack... HESSIAN sack.
Of course the aim of the basket is to more accurately reflect real-life inflation, that we, as consumers, are dealing with. Inflation is currently running at 4%, double the Bank of England’s target of 2% and if it increases again, the pressure to raise interest rates may become unbearable.
But for now, enjoy looking at dating websites on your smart phone while eating oven ready pork with raisins. And be careful with the conditioner.