Whisper It on the Streets and in the Boardroom: Expect to be Poor

Posted on Apr 26, 2023. by NTI

As a form of bedside manner it seems a bit harsh. We also don't recommend Huw repeats his advice on the picket lines of junior doctors, RCN nurses, teachers, offshore workers and any number of all others; but the Bank of England's Chief Economist, Huw Pill, looking resplendent in what to all the world appeared to be a wonderfully cut handmade suit, recommended today (Wednesday 26 April) that we all stop moaning and accept we are poorer.

Insolvency professionals make a note. This is the advice you give to directors of knackered companies and those your team chat to on debt helplines:

"I understand. It's rubbish. However, we are all in this together and the price of qualis' eggs and golf club membership has never been so high. Accept that you are poorer and move on."

Job done.

Thanks Huw. Perhaps the hardest Pill to swallow. (You knew it was coming.)

In a less than subtle intervention and a blunt-edged attempt to head off a wage-price spiral, Mr Pill said that Britain’s companies and households need to accept that high energy prices and inflation will make them “all worse off”. It could have been worse, of course, Pill could have been a doctor (although if he had been we doubt he could have afforded that suit). Presumably his bedside manner would then have been phrased around: "You're dying. Get your head round it. I have drinks in my club at 7.00."

Pill's larger point was high inflation would persist if companies remained unwilling to take a hit on their profit margins and employees resisted declines to their purchasing power. To quote GQ's man-of-the-moment himself:

“Somehow, in the UK, someone needs to accept that they’re worse off and stop trying to maintain their real spending power by bidding up prices [or] wages or passing the energy costs on to customers.”

 There is no doubt there is sense in the sentiment. We raise prices, you can't afford so many of our products, you demand a payrise to maintain your spending power, we put up prices to afford to pay you, you still can't afford to buy stuff ...

... and we're back.

And so the world of restructuring and insolvency continues and we'll thank you to keep your nose out, Mr Pill.

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