A warning has been issued to anyone who buys food staple essentials from supermarkets like Aldi, ASDA, Tesco, Morrisons, Lidl, M&S and Sainsbury’s. The warning affects cupboard items like bread, pasta and baked beans.
Shoppers have been warned that prices of essentials are, in some cases, up by 50 per cent over the last year. Crisps are up 17 per cent, with beef mince up 16 per cent. Robert Halfon, Tory MP for Harlow, said: “People are being hit by a cost of living tsunami. I’ve got people working seven days a week so they can feed their families.”
A government source said: “We are monitoring the situation very closely.” Statisticians chose 30 everyday items that they know the least well-off households regularly buy to get an idea of how inflation is hitting these households.
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Falls were seen in the price of potatoes (14%), cheese (7%), pizza (4%), chips (3%), sausages (3%) and apples (1%). While inflation hit a 40-year high of 9% in April as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, those who are least well off spend a larger proportion of their income on the basics, such as energy bills.
The ONS warned that because the analysis only focuses on the lowest-priced goods the estimates are based on a very small number of price quotes. This means that the data is very sensitive to changes in just one item. “The available products represent the retailer’s online catalogue, rather than the range of products available or bought in local stores that month,” the ONS said.