Labour has slammed the government after the Environment Secretary George Eustice suggested that people could by cheap value brands in supermarkets to help them cope with rising food prices.
Eustice warned on Wednesday that the Ukraine war has pushed up the cost of fertiliser to £1,000 per tonne which has hit farmers pockets hard along with soaring energy costs which is another factor as to why food prices are hitting record highs.
Eustice told Sky News, “The better news is that we have a very, very competitive retail market with 10 big supermarkets and the four main ones competing very aggressively, particularly on some of the lower-cost, everyday value items for households, so things like spaghetti and ambient products – there’s a lot of competition to keep those prices down.
“Where it gets harder is on things like chicken and poultry, and some fresh produce, where those increased feed costs do end up getting passed through the system because these people work on wafer-thin margins and they have to pass that cost through.”
Eustice added, “Generally speaking, what people find is by going for some of the value brands rather than own-branded products – they can actually contain and manage their household budget.
“It will undoubtedly put a pressure on household budgets and, of course, it comes on top of those high gas prices as well.”
Labour’s shadow Treasury chief secretary, Pat McFadden, hit back and said the government are “woefully” out of touch and they have no solutions to the crisis.
McFadden said, “woefully out of touch from a Government with no solution to the cost-of-living crisis facing working people.”
McFadden added, “People are seeing their wages fall, fuel and food costs rise, and families are worried about how to make ends meet.
“It’s time for the government to get real help to people rather than comments that simply expose how little they understand about the real struggles people are facing to pay their bills.”