New Inflation rates for year to October 2017

Head Office Circular No. NP/197/17

To the Secretary, all Branches and Regional Councils
Tuesday 14 November 2017

Dear Colleagues

New Inflation rates for year to October 2017

The Office for National Statistics have published inflation rates for the year to October 2017. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) was 4%, up 0.1% for the year to September 2017. (The often quoted, but irrelevant for pay purposes alternative measures of CPI and CPIH remained unchanged at 3% and 2.8% respectively for the year to October 2017).

RPI includes housing costs, whereas CPI does not. House purchase and therefore rental prices, continue to increase as a result of the expansion in the amount of credit available to be lent out by banks - especially following the period of “quantitative easing”, when around £450 billion was printed (with the approval of Chancellors) and overwhelmingly lent on as residential mortgages.

As well as restricting the amount that is lent out in mortgages, improved public transport has an important role to play in tackling the current cost of housing crisis. Only with more frequent services and a well-funded, properly staffed network, will people find it practical to live in lower priced, more suitably sized homes often to be found further away from centres of work.

Your union’s policy is to use the RPI rate for all pay negotiations. Should an employer attempt to use alternative inflation measures during pay talks, please inform the National Policy department.

I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all members in your Branch.

Yours sincerely


Mick Cash
General Secretary