South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: Cost of living and wage increase demands

Craig Mackinlay

As we approach the festive season, the Mackinlay household is far from ready. The tree remains in the box from last year, not a card written, the batteries for the mini lights used around the windows probably corroded in. Our three and a half year old now has the Christmas and Santa bug so we’d better step up fast. There’s always next weekend.

As well as conducting my regular MP’s surgeries, I’ve had numerous visits to local businesses, new and existing. Most remain buoyant about the future but some, in what I’d call the discretionary spend sector, have worries. The tail of the Covid period still stalks the economy and the huge amount of support expenditure across the period has led to inflationary pressures, exacerbated further by the energy crisis on the back of Putin’s war in Ukraine, requiring more government support of borrowed money to be paid for by future taxpayers. Either problem on their own may have been manageable, but the two, back-to-back, has created a cost-of-living crisis.

There are wage increase demands across the public and quasi-public sector. The most visible ones from health and transport workers. On the one hand who can blame them – the country seemed able to shake the magic money tree across Covid, times are tough, so why not continue? But the reality is if such huge wage increases are won, any short-term advantage of salaries rising higher than inflation would be short-lived as the true downside of a wage-price spiral embeds itself. The value of the new increased salary eroded as everything from taxes to prices go up to compensate with the same demands being made in the following year. This cycle was seen in the 1970s, did not end well, and had no winners.

I know it’s easy for me to say that we all need to pull together and shake off this period, but the country probably won’t and these difficult times will simply continue. I’m sure I’m not alone in making a political link.

I’m getting a lot of media requests. The past couple of weeks have been no exception across issues as diverse as the channel migrant situation which simply must be solved, energy policy upon which I’m becoming something of a go to authority on windfarms, nuclear and the dash to Net Zero. The other is an issue which does affect all of us in Kent is the Mayor of London’s decision, despite overwhelming opposition, to extend the ULEZ charge for older vehicles right out to the edge of the London boroughs and Kent border. Taxation without representation comes to mind.

The out of hours worker from Kent with no public transport alternative available will find themselves paying an extra £12.50 a day just to work in the new chargeable zone. There would be plenty of other unfair examples, perhaps the older couple with an older car that they rarely use being surcharged for taking the infinitely greener and cheaper decision of running an old asset longer rather than buying new. Here in Kent we have no say over who is London Mayor but will have to pay his new tax. The scheme is sold on the back of Net Zero and clean air but the reality through scientific studies shows that these schemes bring scant improvements little better than rounding errors. The driving force behind it is new money to prop up a failing Transport for London, plain and simple, dressed up in another example of costly ‘greenwash’.

I’ve always recognised that Taxis are an important part of public transport provision, particularly to get home safely late at night, but also important for door to door convenience when getting to medical appointments or shopping. We have a shortage of taxis in Thanet despite no shortage of potential drivers looking for a new career.

I hosted a meeting between local taxi operators and Thanet District Council officers to try to bridge the gap, reduce the bureaucratic system in place and get both sides talking and working for a solution.

We talk of a number of ‘sleeps’ before Christmas, there’s one more of my articles before the big day. Have an enjoyable period.


  1. With all this despondency could we see South Thanet MP resigning and joining another party before he loses his seat. My guess is yes.

    • He’s done that before R! wasn’t he Deputy leader of UKIP once? Interesting he mentions businesses “remain buoyant”, well that won’t last if Manston re-opens which he is lobbying for! Low flying aircraft over Ramsgate harbour, town and Nevercourt, will wipe out most businesses! Who can blame public service workers for going on strike he says? Well, this government for a start, they want public service workers to take a pay cut to pay for all their blundering economic incompetence! Blame the victims, thats Tory policy! Perhaps if the Tory MP’s took a 50% pay cut, in solidarity with the nurses, railway workers etc, they would understand what trying to live on poverty wages is like, but I doubt it because most of them have 2nd jobs!

  2. Maybe we could impise a visiting tax on tourists.It would help all the neglect by our Tory council of not picking litter anywhere other than the beachfronts.It could also clear the weeds growing in clumps all around South Thanet and clean up graffiti. Im a Tory voting elsewhere next time.

  3. Maybe giving Tory donors a fast track route for Covid supplies was the wrong thing to do.
    Michelle Mone being handed £29M for doing naff all and the Tories fail to get the money back isn’t the only one.
    One man who paid himself a £13M bonus celebrated his birthday with a cake decorated in the shape of a case full of money

  4. Yes if we have to pay charges into London then get them to pay a local tax for staying in Thanet.Some resorts already do this.Also my local roads are full of dog crap,litter,cigarette butts caused by visitors.Even nappies thrown over my garden wall.The council tell me that havent enough funds to deal with the over and above mess.So I pay council tax but do there job.Theres an argument to have as to whether tourism pays.

      • But remember everyone. Peter voted Green (at the last KCC elections) if you didn’t already know (which I’m sure you all did). Apparently he’s also written a book about Jimmy Savile or something?

  5. Why are kent police having £30 million in cuts? Why is KCC on the verge of bankruptcy? Brexit has given has what? Why are there so many homeless / in temporary accommodation’s? What has the NHS / GPs worst than they’ve ever been? Why is the cost of living so high.? Why are energy bills so high? What have you done for this area since you (somehow) won the election? Stop you don’t have to tell any lies Mr McKinley. It’s perfectly clear all above questions have the same answer incompetent not fit for purpose Conservatives.

    • Bill KCC if they are going to be bankrupt as they say how can they lend a council which owes in excess of £600 million, between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2022 £20 million part of £100 million since 1st April 2018 and another £50 million to other tory councils? To me once again its bad management following on from the Icelandic fiasco it seems to me that the tory council has no idea of how to handle our money correctly in other words fiscally ineptitude by its management it must be where Liz Truss practiced her ability to cause the same in abilities on the national economy as both are in a mess what do you say to that Mr Craig Mackinlay MP.

  6. And Brexit, Craig. You forgot to mention the complete disaster that has been for the country. I CAN’T WAIT until you lot are voted out.

  7. More twaddle and waffle. The cost of living crisis blame does not lie at the hands of Covid and Putin, neither helped but a zombie government over summer set the U.K. back which is why we suffered more and then we have the truss up…. And of course the word that shall not be mentioned. All are a direct result of Tory nonsense. I’ve have in the past voted Tory. Never ever again. The party has been invaded by lunatics, good tories are stand down in the their droves, and what’s left is greedy self serving idiots.

    No one believes covid and Putin are the only reasons for the cost of living crisis.

    And nurses, train workers, postal staff etc etc deserve a pay rise and big one… the top 5% have got substantially richer over the last few years off the back of the hard work of normal people and yet that wealth is being hoarded more than ever. The money is there to pay people – don’t try and fool us.

  8. So long as the cost of living crisis doesn’t affect you directly Craig, you don’t care.

    Stop blaming covid and Putin, blame yourself and your own party that has wrecked this country over the last decade or so. The way your pathetic party behaved over the last six months has been catastrophic for people’s futures. Look at the damage Liz Truss did in a few weeks, yet you backed her!

    I saw you talking about poverty in your recent TV interview, you deny there is an issue in Thanet, yet the facts and data prove otherwise. You are a foul excuse for a human and lie non stop.

    Don’t get me started on the Brexit lies you spread either, that has been another disaster. Try exporting as a business from the UK in to Europe and the costs now involved in doing that because of Brexit. You spoke of the benefits of Brexit, yet there are none. We have severed ties with our closest trading partner, which is suicide for UK business’s that trade with the EU, we now have the slowest growth expectancy except for Russia, wow what a brexit bonus that is. But I guess so long as you and your mates made money from shorting the pound then that’s ok.

    • I think BREXIT was one big CON. Clownhead and gove who lead the leave side-said it would save the NHS money-What a load off BULL

      • It was Johnson swanning around in a bus that said we would get back £350 million a week from the EU, to give to the NHS that swung Brexit! It was just another one of Johnson’s lies, but there were enough gullible people around to believe it! Watch out for an attempt to get back into power from Johnson! He’ s mini Trump, who believes as Goebbels said, if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it!

  9. You mention the hardships facing motorists on the Kent/London border; you bemoan the lack of taxis.
    You didn’t mention public transport- or rather, the lack of it. You didn’t mention how your government has driven inflation busting rate rises on the railway for years, yet you argue against inflation matching wage rises for railway staff. Only a few months ago bus services in Kent were either cut back to hardly a service at all, or withdrawn all together. Not a mention from you.
    As for your “becoming something of a go to authority on windfarms, nuclear and the dash to Net Zero”: well, you’re certainly an authority on hot air.

      • Thanet has lots of railway stations.ok if you want to go to Canterbury, Dover or London.
        That’s not much comfort if you want to go to Eastery, Monkton, Worth or any number if rural destinations that now, at best, have a bare bones bus service, and in far too many cases, no bus at all.

      • Peter the 8th wonder of Thanet reminds me of of a very eloquently spoken person who sang what a waste I met Ian Dury in 71 and I had a chat with him he wasn’t known then but he looked peed of and just started a conversation, next time I saw him was on TOTP on TV, anyway every time I hear about the station I think of Ian and his biggest hit was what a waste what most people in thanet think of the station.

      • Thanet has excellent public transport links? Really? Depends what you mean by ‘public transport’.

        Not if you want to get a bus to Canterbury for college or a hospital appointment unless you live in Margate that, for some reason, has four buses an hour to the city. If I need to get to,say, Dover by bus, I can’t nor can I get a train unless I change at Ramsgate. When I taught in Deal I could put my bike on the train at Broadstairs in the guard’s van and get off in Deal to cycle to the school.Now I would have to change in Ramsgate and hope the trains connected.

        Our public transport is in private hands now so profit is the key factor.

  10. Well the Tories claim we had the success of the vaccine roll out.We carried out the quickiest and spent more money than any EU country.But we still had the worst death rate by far.If I spent the highest amount of money to achieve the worst results in my job,I would be unemployed.
    Oh and all the PPE corruption.Thats what getting back control means.

  11. Craig,

    What did you do to support those losing their bus services due to Stagecoach only being interested in the Loop,leaving whole swathes of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Cliftonville with no bus service at all? No bus from Ramsgate or Broadstairs to Canterbury except at 6.30a.m. No service to Palm Bay or Chessboard area or Dumpton Gap.

    It is only because of a campaign run by locals and one KCC councillor and some TDC ones, we even got one route back run by another company. Your answer to those who emailed you was pretty much’Sorry nothing much I can do’ and holding a virtual meeting with Stagecoach who by all accounts gave you the brush-off. Your only other solution was to use taxis or cadge a lift!

    Taxis are not ‘public transport’ and are expensive. Not a solution for the pensioner struggling to get about on a limited income.

  12. I would jump ship at some stage Craig as all political parties have been entirely discredited by their destructive covid measures, giving away billions of our money to the tainted and dubious Ukrainian regime and unquestioningly following the unelected WEF’s net zero agenda with oh so many flaws and lies attached to it. Let alone a deliberately clumsy handling of the immigrant crisis with large contracts to SERCO. But I do remember that you stood up against lockdowns and you were proved to be right on this while many cowardly MPs kept their heads down.

  13. Would you kindly stay in your loft with your Christmas tree.We will call you if needed. But don’t hold your breath.

  14. I see Vladimir Putin’s ghost writer is still spinning fake news about Ukraine and the pandemic. I am sure Ukraine is not being governed entirely in line with the Nolan principles, but then we aren’t facing bombs and missiles every day. Neither are we burying our dead because of Russian death squads killing innocent men and women. So, Mr Democrat perhaps you would like to tell all those Ukranian women that they are suffering unnecessarily and that being violated by Russian soldiers is all part of democratisation and denazification of Ukraine.
    As for the pandemic so many died unnecessarily because of self-righteous foolish idiots spinning pseudo-science instead of evidence. Were 200,000 deaths not enough for you.
    Fortunately, real science came to our aid with vaccines that worked and now our only problem is getting those who should be vaccinated, immunised as soon as possible.
    Even the dimmest of lights can shine in certain circumstance and Serco, Capita, G4S and the rest are profiteering organisations delivering little of any value, but as long as Craig and his friends are in power, they will continue to prosper.

      • Peter are you sure please try to be a bit knowledgeable about other things in the world apart from the Nolan singing group who are/were very fine at singing and some in operetta, as you like books I suggest a book available from that company you like about the Nolan principles not joking it’s really good reading.

  15. All you Tory bashers out there can you tell me if the opposition has any coherent plans that wil work?? of course you can’t,even they have not put a timescale on the plan for the future and remember the last labour lot sold gold reserves because the money was being wasted. My GP told me that the increase in his salary meant he could work part time and if needed do a bit of private work. So lets look at history to see the real problem. I hope they never govern again!!

    • Jay are you absolutely right about your tory chums I see they have done another u-turn that’s 2 within a week there no better than Labour, things are sure to change at the next election for the better we won’t know until the voting is done, I wonder what PMQs will be like today definitely will listen as I like a good laugh from the main two protagonist’s, will be interesting to see what the new SNP leader has to say.

    • ****SOUND THE WHATABOUTISM KLAXON***** Jay, I hate to break it to you, but the Tories have been in power for 12/13 years. The mess you are looking at is because of Tory policies, poor leadership and corruption. To deflect and point attention at the party not in power suggests are prepared to the reality in front of you, have you been radicalised?

        • No Elaine I am not prepared to ignore the reality because the reality is that a lot of the problems stem from the last labour Government even though it was 12/13 years ago! so I an saying be carefulwhay you wish for, same meat different gravy

  16. How many Tory Prime Ministers inside a few months were there? Oh! right three, and all incompetent, wrecking the economy in the process, yet we still have 2 chocolate tea pots representing us in South and north Thanet! Vote them out next time, a Labour government can’t be worse than this lot!

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