How much does a cup of coffee cost? It’s a simple question, but with the cost of living crisis all around us, there’s not a simple answer. If you walk down your local high street, you will probably find prices ranging from 99p all the way up to £5. I’m not really sure as I cannot stand the stuff, but tea is probably just as high priced too!
But how much does it cost to make a hot drink these days? If you look at the overall running costs of a business, there’s staff pay, rent, lease costs, electricity, water bills, heating, furniture and raw products just to name a few. It’s probably not cheap to make it at all, which is why many of us cannot afford to buy a cup of coffee or tea outside nowadays.
It is a sad sign of the times when you want to support independent traders or your local cafe, but most people on an average salary are watching what they spend. Once these places close, its unlikely that they will be gone for good, unless a large American coffee house turns up charging £6.99 for a costa lotta mocha! A hot drink on your way to work now seems to be an easy target for those TV experts educating us all in how we should cut our spending and watch the pennies.
It is interesting that many who work fulltime cannot afford to eat or drink out these days. With a reasonable meal in a restaurant costing at least £30 per head, a family dinner is now well over £100. Which is well beyond the means of an average family, unless they forgo something else that month.
It is therefore surprising that Government HQ decided to release some facts about benefit payments this week. According to HMRC, those receiving more in benefits than they actually pay in tax, is now over 50% of the population. So more than half of the people living in the UK are getting more in handouts than they actually pay in tax to keep the country running. It’s no surprise then, why our councils have no money to spend on anything. That is quite a shocking statistic when you realise just how many people are relying on financial assistance. Or are they?
It’s a very difficult topic when people on benefits are generalised in the public eye. The first comment that is always said is that ‘oh, so they are on benefits but they still have a mobile phone!’. Well to be fair, you cannot do anything these days without a mobile phone, it’s become virtually essential.
Then the fingers are pointed towards cigarettes and alcohol. Not the Oasis hit single, but are either of these items essential items? Do we have the right to question ones spending when we do not have full facts? If someone receives money in benefits, do we have the right to question their spending habits or is it their money to do with what they want? If they do spend it on cigarettes and alcohol, then they will have less to spend on food. Or if they hadn’t have bought that 55 inch TV, could they have spent the money on a course in education, to help them gain better employment. We are not here to fund a land of couch potatoes.
It’s an impossible question to answer, as each individual case is different. But what we do know for sure, is that when we do go and sit in Costa Lotta for our expense cup of coffee, the majority of those sitting around you enjoying their hot drinks will likely be receiving benefits. Meanwhile, the 50% of empty seats will represent all those people who are still actually at work!