The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, spoke to food manufacturers today (23 May) about the cost of food in the UK.
The Chancellor highlighted the widespread concern among the British public about the current level of food prices and their impact on household budgets, particularly for the most vulnerable. He listened to the views of manufacturers about the causes of food inflation, reiterated the support announced by the Prime Minister last week for the UK food sector, and agreed that food manufacturers would continue to engage with senior government ministers about potential measures that government and industry can take to ease the pressure on consumers.
The Chancellor also met with the independent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and heard more about the scope of their investigations into road fuel and their stepping up of work on groceries prices, including the possible action that could be taken by the CMA. The Chancellor confirmed that the government stands ready to update pricing rules and guidance on the back of the CMA’s review of unit pricing.
With food inflation at 19.2%, the Chancellor emphasised that the government’s current focus is on measures which will help tackle increasing costs in the food sector. Prices are coming down across other parts of the economy, with energy bills also expected to fall as Ofgem announces the new cap tomorrow (Thursday 25 May).