‘Britons don’t have an automatic right to low food prices, former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe has claimed, adding that people should simply go without certain items if they are struggling financially.
Discussing the UK’s cost-of-living crisis on the BBC’s Politics Live show, the former Tory member suggested that anyone claiming unemployment benefits should be made to fill labour shortages by picking fruit.
Widdecombe also advised people who cannot afford to pay for some food items to simply stop buying them.
“Well then you don’t do the cheese sandwich. None of it’s new. We’ve been through this before,” she said. “The problem is we’ve been decades now without inflation, we’ve come to regard it as some kind of given right.”
The cost of living has risen sharply in the UK over the past two years, with annual inflation standing at 10.1% in March, driven largely by soaring food prices. Although the inflation rate dipped from 10.4% in February, it fell less than expected and is still well above the Bank of England’s target of 2%.’
‘The cost of British food staples such as cheese, white bread and porridge oats have soared – with one brand of cheddar increasing by 80 per cent in one year.
Overall inflation on food and drink at supermarkets continued to rise in March to 17.2 per cent, up from 16.5 per cent the month before, Which? found.
The price of cheddar cheese, which accounts for roughly half of all cheese sales in the UK, increased by an average 28.3 per cent across eight major supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose – compared to a year ago.’