PAYING the price for other people’s errors is irksome at the best of times, to put it mildly, but it is surely particularly galling when the bills arise from the wilfully destructive or reckless behaviour of people in senior positions as opposed to a simple, unintended mistake.

The theme of paying for the behaviour of others featured prominently in my columns this week for The Herald. It featured in large part with reference to the Brexit folly but also in relation to the Conservatives having made the public at large, and particularly the worst-off members of society, pick up the tab for a global financial crisis brought on by the behaviour of high-fliers in the sector. And the theme also figured in the context of what Brexit has done to the UK’s reputation, in the context of SoftBank’s decision to list Arm Holdings in New York.

The first column was triggered by the view of Huw Pill, chief economist of the Bank of England, that people should show restraint in asking for pay increases amid rampant inflation.

It was perhaps a little surprising he chose to intervene, given the controversy whipped up by Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey when he took the same line.

Mr Pill seemed undeterred by any such consideration, however, holding forth on the subject. Holding back might have been a better idea, as his words prompted a similar reaction to that triggered by Mr Bailey’s comments last year.

The Bank of England chief economist told the Beyond Unprecedented podcast from Columbia Law School in the US: "So somehow in the UK, someone needs to accept that they're worse off and stop trying to maintain their real spending power by bidding up prices, whether [through] higher wages or passing the energy costs through on to customers etcetera.

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"And what we're facing now is that reluctance to accept that, yes, we're all worse off and we all have to take our share. To try and pass that cost on to one of our compatriots and saying, ‘We'll be all right, but they will have to take our share too' - that pass-the-parcel game that's going on here, that game is one that is just generating inflation, and that part of inflation can persist."

That is all fine for the relatively well remunerated Mr Pill to say.

However, it is surely unacceptable from a societal perspective to ask ordinary people, many facing major strain on their household finances, not to seek to at least stand still in real terms through a pay increase in line with the UK’s grisly inflation rate. Annual consumer prices index inflation in March in the UK was, at 10.1 per cent, the highest in Western Europe.

There is a raft of evidence highlighting the extent to which prices for UK households have been fuelled by the Tory Brexit folly. Brexit is surely among the most wilful of errors given that the Conservatives who took us out of the European Union in a particularly and needlessly damaging way were warned of the detrimental consequences of so doing.

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Research published last December by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at The London School of Economics confirmed the price of food products had increased by 6% as a result of leaving the EU over the two years to December 2021. This added an average of £210 to household food bills over this period, costing UK consumers a total of more than £5.8 billion.

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This is a most unpalatable state of affairs, especially given that ordinary households are now effectively being asked to pay for the Tories’ Brexit mistake through real-terms cuts in their incomes arising in no small part from the utter foolishness of leaving not only the EU but also the single market and customs union.

These are the same households who were made to pay for the global financial crisis, and the reckless behaviour which led to this, through a savage austerity programme which included sapping public sector pay freezes and caps, as well as benefit cuts of a type which have no place in a civilised society.

My column on Friday in The Herald provided another example of how the UK and its people are paying the price for Brexit, in terms of a diminution of the country’s reputation on the international stage.

The decision in March of semiconductor and software design company Arm Holdings’ owner, SoftBank, to float the UK-founded business in New York rather than London must surely be an embarrassment to the ruling Conservatives. The UK Government had put much effort into trying to persuade Japanese group SoftBank to choose the UK for Arm Holdings’ listing.

What should be more humiliating for the Tories though is the firm view of Arm Holdings co-founder Hermann Hauser about a key factor in the decision by SoftBank: Brexit.

Mr Hauser told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The fact is that New York of course is a much deeper market than London and partially because of the Brexit idiocy of course the image of the London Stock Exchange has suffered a lot in the international community.”

These should be sobering words even for those Brexiters who remain enchanted by their anti-European ideology.

And the comments should certainly make the ruling Conservatives reflect on the many ways in which the UK and its citizens are having to pay the price for the Government’s poor decision-making.