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Opinion: Have you seen the price of fish and chips these days? Welcome to 2022



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Happy New Year!

We made it through 2021.

As we all know, the start of a new year can be a very moving experience.

Festive new year fireworks. Stock image
Festive new year fireworks. Stock image

It’s a time to reflect on the past and lay out our hopes and intentions for the months, even whole year ahead.

More so, new year gives us opportunity to reignite our enthusiasm for long-held goals, plans and dreams.

And, of course, make those all important resolutions.

I don’t know about you, but I found New Year celebrations a bit muted this year.

In my experience, people generally mumbled ‘Happy New Year’ rather than wish it on family, friends and colleagues with any real gusto.

Some, including me, didn’t even feel like saying Happy New Year at all, and instead gave it cursory regard.

And understandably so.

I think we are all still in a case of shock after the last two years, and at best, living day-to-day.

Pondering the year ahead is quite a task; and with shock, of course, always comes a state of confusion.

It’s 2020 what? Let’s get through today first.

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Though the headlines are still dominated by Covid, I’ve no doubt this year’s theme will be: The Cost of Living.

I first started noticing the price hikes mid 2020 with 10p on this, 50p on that – and astronomical rise in the price of fish and chips, which seems to be still creeping up.

Last night’s meal of chips, a beef and onion pie (supply shortages meant they didn’t have steak and kidney) and mushy peas was £7!

Fish and chips. Stock photo
Fish and chips. Stock photo

Mind you, my mind is still stuck around 1997 when a meal out was somewhere in the region of £6.95, or £8.95 depending where you ate. For £12. 95, you were in for a feast.

Fish and chips used to be ‘the people’s food’ but may be off the menu given what we have to face. Then again, other food is going up, too.

First there is the impending rise in energy costs, with household heating and lighting set to rise between £500 and £800 a year.

Fresh food prices are now rising at their fastest rate in almost a decade – fuelling concerns by money-saving experts that families will soon face a choice between eating and heating.

The figure for healthy fresh produce was up by 3 per cent in December compared with a year ago.

The rise is the fastest rate since April 2013.

The screw is set to be further tightened by increases in National Insurance, Council Tax, rail fares and mortgage repayments.

Happy New Year indeed.

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And finally, speaking of shocks and new year – I think the biggest shock of the year was Boris Johnson’s new haircut.

Boris Johnson speaking at a Covid press conference this month.
Boris Johnson speaking at a Covid press conference this month.

It makes you wonder if that, and a new tie, most likely a present from Carrie, or the interim head of No 10’s communications department, indicate a change of personal, and even perhaps political style from the PM - though I always thought the buffoonery seemed a little manufactured, too.