Labour has slammed Rishi Sunak’s failures which have left the UK exposed to skyrocketing price increases, with the most recent data showing food prices are rising 50% faster in the UK at 19.2% than elsewhere in the G7, where food inflation averages 12.8%.
The cost of a typical family’s food shop is expected to be £700 more this year compared to the 2020/21 financial year, with the price of food rising by nearly 20% in March compared to 2022. The price of some items has soared by even more, with the price of eggs and milk up by a third, and sugar up by 42%.
Labour is calling on the government to take urgent action to ease the cost of food crisis, with measures to cut costs domestically, and reduce international trade issues:
Labour claim that Rishi Sunak’s government has failed to support our food industry, with no proper Industrial Strategy to support business across the food supply chain, as well as failing to remove unnecessary red tape for exporters, leading to higher prices for household goods.
They further claim that their Party’s long-term mission to achieve the highest sustained growth in the G7 will tackle Britain’s exposure to global food shocks, and allow us to buy, make and sell more in the UK, bringing down these Tory price increases. The have promised to fix our trading relationship with the EU and make Brexit work for business and consumers, making practical, tangible fixes to the trade deal that will cut red tape and reduce frictions at ports.
And they are critical of the current Brexit deal, which they describe as “botched” and is contributing to pushing up prices, with billions in added costs due to frictions at the border and the situation set to get worse as more checks are implemented. Labour say that the Conservative’s failure to support home-grown clean energy, like renewables and nuclear, has also left our food industry overly exposed to rising energy prices, with evidence showing nearly two thirds of the variance in food prices is driven by energy prices.
And Labour believe their Green Prosperity Plan is the answer, saying it will boost supply of clean, home-grown energy, like renewables and nuclear, ensuring a secure supply of cheap energy to keep our food industry competitive and cut costs for consumers.
Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “We have to tackle the food prices that are out of control, and hitting families and businesses.
“There is so much the Tories could be doing to not just ease the burden on households and firms, but to make longer term fixes to make our economy stronger and to get it growing. But instead, they’re happy to sit back and let working people pay the price.
“By making our energy supply more secure, Labour would ease the pressure on families and businesses. By cutting business rates and strengthening supply chains, we can get to the root cause of some of these problems and build a better Britain out of them.
“Our country has the potential and promise it needs to move forward and out of this cost of living crisis. Labour will not let that go to waste.”