The head of a British supermarket chain has warned some Britons can’t afford to boil potatoes
According to Iceland Foods Ltd’s head, rising energy prices have led some British citizens to reject potatoes at food banks. They cannot afford boiling them.
In an interview with the BBC Radio 4 Today program on Wednesday, Richard Walker said the “Cost of living is one of the biggest domestic issues we have as a country.” He cited reports from some food banks that users are “declining products such as potatoes and other root veg because they can’t afford to boil them.”
Walker said food price inflation was “Tendency to increase 10%” – an estimate remarkably higher than the 5.1% annual figure provided by the Office for National Statistics. According to the supermarket chain’s boss, price increases have been especially evident for items like milk. Milk production is complex and involves many stages. Each stage costs more.
He concluded that high food prices were here to stay and that it could be argued that, systematically, “For too long, food has been far too expensive.” He said the pressure on chains was “Unstoppable and constantly coming at us through all angles” as they tried to keep prices down.
To explain the explosive rise in costs, he suggested that rising oil prices, shortages of workers, as well the fall in supply of Russian fertilizers, and Ukrainian sunflower oil, were to blame.
Walker suggested that UK’s government might take measures to cool the retailers. He urged that the energy price cap on households could be extended to businesses, which he said would translate into some £100m in savings on consumers. He also asked authorities to put off the increase in national insurance and some additional taxes.
Following Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, which began on February 24, gas and oil prices – a large proportion of which is being supplied to Europe from Russia – have shot up dramatically, resulting in higher energy bills both for individuals and businesses across Europe.
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