It’s time the UK Government took action to stop companies profiteering due to the cost-of-living crisis
Jack Sargeant, MS Alyn and Deeside
It is common knowledge that the UK Government caused an inflation crisis that has hit families hard.
What is less widely talked about is their failure to get a grip on profiteering.
This has driven inflation further and has seen hard pressed families further punished.
Think about insurance prices. Insurance is something none of us can do without and we have probably all been shocked when we have come to renew.
I spoke to one resident whose car insurance quote was an additional £800 without a change in circumstances and with an additional year no claims. The same can be said for house and contents insurance.
Families can ill afford this hike and there is no justification for such rises beyond profiteering.
The industry watchdogs the FCA recently reviewed 11 home and motor insurance firms and found that premiums were rising, and more claims were being rejected. It also found an increase in customers abandoning claims, probably because of the sheer amount of time they were taking to process.
Insurance isn’t the only example of such practices. I read this week with real anger reports that makers of some popular food brands have raised prices by more than their costs over the past two years, according to the UK’s competition watchdog.
According to a review by the competition watchdog published last week, three in four companies that supply branded beans, mayo, infant formula and pet food have raised prices faster than the cost increases they have shouldered.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also warned that, as costs start coming down, some companies do not plan to cut their prices, instead passing on the savings through promotions.
As supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s now only offer most of their discounts to loyalty scheme members, this could risk creating a two-tier system, the CMA warned.
This has pushed higher prices onto consumers for products like tinned food and even baby formula. So, claims from suppliers that they are doing all they can to keep prices down just don’t stack up.
Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to rise, with food prices still more than a 10th higher last month than the same time last year, according to official figures.
The UK Government needs to do more. They are the architects of this cost-of-living crisis; they must now protect us from profiteering and put consumers first.
I will be asking Welsh Government ministers to use meetings they have with UK counterparts to make this point abundantly clear.
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