UK Government Frozen Whilst Households Suffer
Stirling SNP MP Alyn Smith has called on the UK Government to act urgently to address soaring food prices, as fresh figures put food inflation at 19.1% – the highest level since the 1970s.
Mr Smith said the UK government is failing to tackle ‘greedflation’ and must take action to force supermarkets to reduce the cost of everyday food items.
Research by the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the SNP, shows other European governments are acting on food inflation and price gouging, whilst the UK government does nothing to bring down prices and help struggling families:
- This week, the Irish government gave supermarkets a six-week ultimatum to bring down the cost of a basket of groceries
- In March, the French government came to an agreement with major food retailers to cap food prices on a wide range of products to “the lowest possible level”, which has since been extended
- The Italian government has appointed a committee to monitor unusual price movements
In contrast, Tory Defra Minister Mark Harper told the Parliament “it is not for HM Government to set retail food prices nor to comment on day-to-day commercial decisions by companies”.
It comes as the British Retail Consortium warned Brexit could cause food prices to rise even further, with new fees on goods coming into the UK from the EU adding “hundreds of pounds” to the cost of importing each lorry-load of produce.
Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:
‘Households and businesses across Stirling – particularly in the hospitality industry – are reeling from soaring food prices, greedflation and a cost of living crisis that has spiralled out of control.
‘While our European neighbours are taking action to tackle food inflation and price gouging, the UK government has washed its hands and done nothing to lower prices or help families.
‘The Prime Minister must finally take tough action to lower prices in shops, launch an investigation into price gouging, and ensure inflation is not used as an excuse for profiteering.
‘With Brexit damaging the economy and raising prices further, the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party are only making the cost of living crisis worse. We need to see some honesty here about what’s contributing to sky-high food prices, and start addressing the root of the problem.’