Corporate profiteering soars

New Unite report exposes the unbridled profiteering behind the cost-of-living crisis

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New Unite research, analysing the FTSE 350 shows how profit margins for the first half of 2022 were 89% higher compared to the same period in 2019.

FTSE 350 profits have spiked even higher than in 2021 where profits jumped 73%, according to Unite’s first profiteering report, published in July 2022.

Unite’s latest report on profiteering across the economy, is the first to show how runaway profiteering has driven up the price of everyday household goods.

Profiteering is a reflection of Britain’s broken economy. From price gouging to state-licensed monopolies in energy and utilities, to supply crunches and demand jumps, the choices made by corporations are revealed to have caused historic “price spiralling” – and governments are letting them do it.

It’s not just happening in the energy industry. The top three supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda made combined profits of £3.2 billion in 2021, nearly double pre-pandemic levels.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “We’re in the midst of a cost of profiteering crisis. Our new research exposes where and how the economy is being rigged against workers – from supermarkets to energy bills, oil refineries to transport, we’re all paying the price.

“The profiteering crisis isn’t just a few bad apples, it’s systemic across our broken economy,” she added. “Entire industries are choosing to take advantage of a crisis, resulting in the spiralling prices of goods we all need.

“When the profits of Britain’s biggest firms have spiked 89 per cent don’t tell me the money isn’t there for the pay rises workers need and deserve.

“It’s only by taking on runway profiteering that we can end the cost of living crisis,” Graham went on to say. “Politicians can make different choices. It is high time they woke up to the corporate greed that is engulfing every sector of the British economy and challenged it by taking on the profiteers”.

The ‘Unite Investigates’ team takes a forensic look at where profiteering is happening, examining evidence from energy, oil & petrol, food, automotive, road freight and shipping.

By Ciaran Naidoo