May 27, 2022

In January, the number of people suffering from food insecurity in the UK was 20% higher than in the second half of last year. According to one Survey According to the Food Foundation Charity, 4.7 million adults suffered from food insecurity – equivalent to 8.8% of the population. One million adults reported that they or a member of their household had to spend the whole day without food in the past month because they could not access or tolerate food.

For all the media fuss about the ‘leveling up’ agenda, more help is needed for families on the bread line. According to Tesco Chairman John Allen, the cost of living crisis will only get worse as we sink deeper into 2022. In a recent BBC interview, he predicted that more and more households would have to choose between food and heating when the inflation crisis really strikes. Takes hold. Allen said he was “worried” about the problems people face because of the tight budget.

You can say it again.

But the government has its own priorities on this issue. It’s wrapped up in its ridiculous anti-obesity drive. It’s designed to make food more unbearable for families who are struggling the most, apparently without realizing it.

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The health and care bill it is introducing through parliament – MPs are debating amendments to it this week – will ban promotional officers in supermarkets such as ‘buy one for free’ and ‘3K’. In return 2 ‘. The new advertising rules will crack down on all food that the government decides to be ‘unhealthy’, online as part of the new ‘watershed’ and advertisements on TV and radio after 9pm Has been banned.

This is a move that is both impressive and inappropriate for this government. According to research From the Food and Drink Federation, this new set of rules will add £ 160 annually to household purchase bills.

This rising cost will affect the lowest income earners the most. On average, in the lower 10% of the country in terms of income, an individual spends £ 1,404 a year on food and non-alcoholic beverages, so an increase of £ 160 equals an 11% increase in food purchases for those people. Who are the least capable. This. For these poorest consumers, £ 160 represents 2% of their total annual income – roughly equal to their entire annual expenditure on fresh vegetables.

This is a completely unnecessary addition to the thousands of pounds that families will already have out of pocket due to energy bills and inflation, not to mention the planned increase in National Insurance contributions.

The government should make food more affordable, not less, for struggling families.

Grocers and suppliers are not immune to the problems posed by rising energy costs. Over the years, rising food prices have driven food manufacturers out. Its effects are now emerging, with the cost of living crises, supply chain problems, the long-term effects of the Cove-19 epidemic, low exports due to Bridget, and a variety of other factors.

In other words, prices are rising on the shelf, and the government is only exacerbating the problem by hamstring the industry and increasing our bills.

Worst of all, these policies will not achieve what the government wants them to do. Politicians act as if defaming certain food groups as ‘unhealthy’ and making them less accessible is the only way to deal with obesity. The collective economic loss of this well-intentioned but tumultuous approach to public health policy would be devastating.

Politicians don’t have to worry about where their next dream is coming from. Many families do. The Health and Care Bill can’t come at a worse time. That should be delayed, as a group of Tory colleagues called last week when the House of Lords had to present its position on the bill – and preferably never see the light again.

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