UK Government Must Launch Investigation
The SNP will call on the UK Tory Government to launch an investigation into soaring food prices and profiteering in the context of soaring inflation in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
SNP MPs at Westminster will lead a debate on the cost of living and the impact of food inflation on household budgets. The party will call on supermarkets to pass on falling wholesale prices to customers, and for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to utilise its full powers and impose maximum fines where evidence of price gouging is found.
The CMA can hand out fines of up to 10% of annual worldwide revenues if they find ‘anti-competitive collusion’.
The SNP has said the Tory government is “deliberately sitting on its hands while families suffer” and failing to tackle ‘greedflation’, with food inflation at 19.1%, the highest level since the 1970s.
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:
- Last 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”, this 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.