According to Jordan's Department of Statistics, the consumer prices index, which measures inflation in the country, rose by 5.6 percent in 2013, compared to 2012.

Few countries in the world witness such huge increases in consumer prices, and this should pose a big challenge to the government.

While the rapid growth of our national consumer price index was in line with the expectation of the International Monetary Fund, which predicted the inflation rate for last year to reach 5.5 per cent, the rise in cost of living is certainly not in line with the hopes of the Jordanian people.

Jordanians are reeling from a runaway inflation that has put the middle- and lower-class citizens in a precarious situation.

As expected, the rise in the cost of living is attributed to higher fuel and electricity prices; the former rose by 11.4 per cent, the latter by nearly 20 per cent over the prices of the previous year.

This situation cannot continue. Authorities need to take some meaningful measures to mitigate it.

It is up to the government to seek ways to make the cost of living reasonable and commensurate with the income.

The big irony in all this is the fact that the Department of Statistics found that the prices of cigarettes and tobacco have gone down by 8.5 per cent during the comparison period, when these harmful products should have deterring prices.

High costs of living could make for a dangerous, unstabilising, element.

The government has to address the situation as a matter of priority and in a manner that takes into consideration the income of the needier bracket of the population.