The UK used to have a bad inflation problem. UK politics in the 1970s and early 1980s was fought over rises in the cost of living and which party had the best way of controlling it.
Mr Miliband wanted to take his party on a trip down Memory lane, by making a central issue out of what he called “the cost of living crisis”.
This followed hard on the heels of his forecasts that the UK economy under the present government would go into double and treble dip recession and would end up with worse unemployment than it had suffered under Labour government. He abandoned that attack as the news gathered momentum of many more jobs being created, and many people getting out of unemployment into work.
This week the government announced that the present rate of inflation is zero. For the whole of the last year prices overall have stayed the same. Forecasters expect prices to fall a bit from here. Wages are rising, so people are now experiencing some increase in living standards, after the sharp fall in real incomes at the end of the Labour period in office, and the continued squeeze in the early Coalition years when inflation remained high.
The government and Bank do wish to see better pay rises and further progress in raising people’s spending power. For the time being none of this threatens low inflation, which remains as a welcome achievement which eluded most post war UK governments.