You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
In many countries the cost of living is rising. What are the effects on individuals and society? What measures can be taken to deal with this problem?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that in many countries, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the majority of people to make ends meet. While the effects on individuals and society as a whole are serious, I believe that steps can be taken to address this issue.
Rising living costs result in hardship for many individuals and serious consequences for society. In terms of individuals, they are faced with higher prices for everyday necessities, such as food, paying rent or heating bills. They are forced to make cutbacks in their household budgets in order to make the most of the income that they have. From the perspective of society, when goods and services are more expensive, major socio- economic changes occur. People spend less in stores and on entertainment, or they have to pay in arrears or run up debts, and the whole economy of the country goes into decline.
However, effective policies must be adopted to tackle the rise in living costs. Firstly, governments should provide public subsidies for basic needs, such as food, heating and healthcare. For example, in the USA citizens on average incomes cannot afford rising medical bills, and so universal free medical care should high on the agenda of the government. Secondly, if governments curbed public spending on military weapons, they would be able to prioritize expenditure on programmes to reduce taxes for people on low incomes. This would help people to afford the higher prices in the shops and enable them to buy the things they need.
In conclusion, in order to tackle the increase in the cost of living, governments must adopt measures to help those in society who are in most need.
to make ends meet: to earn just enough money to be able to buy the things you need
to address: to think about a problem or situation and decide how you are going to deal with it
hardship: a situation that is difficult and unpleasant because you do not have enough money, food, clothes etc
to make cutbacks: to decrease, to reduce
to make the most of something: to make something appear as good as possible; to exploit something; to get as much out of something as is possible.
socio-economic changes: changes relating to the society and economy of a country
to pay in arrears: refers to making a payment to a supplier later than the terms of the arrangement under which goods or services were purchased from the supplier.
to run up: to allow a bill or a debt to reach a large total
to adopt policies: to start to use particular policies
to provide public subsidies for: to give government money to reduce the costs of services or to produce goods in order to keep the price low
high on the agenda: something which is among the first things in the list of actions to be taken
to curb public spending on: to restrict what the government spends on something
to prioritize expenditure on: to put the need to spend money on certain things first