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Opinion

It’s time the UK Government took action to stop companies profiteering due to the cost-of-living crisis

04 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Photo Yui Mok/PA Wire

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.

Insurance firms

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.

Price cuts

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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Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago

Mr Starmer is starting to laud Mrs Thatcher!
Really, have a word with the leadership, we need a level head coming into government, our finances are so wrecked I don’t expect miracles but a steady progeress.

At this rate of KS commentary it will be the very vengeful and probably full on loons in charge of the Tory party back in to finish the job after a Tory lite government with KS. Labour has a chance to make a massive difference, don’t mess it up.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

The finances aren’t as wrecked as Starmer would have us believe. He’s just afraid of the right-wing media backlash if he so much as dares to suggest that there are areas that could be put in order which would make a huge difference without raising a single tax rate anywhere. Simply clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion would yield considerable amounts. Cutting down on corporate welfare would yield further very useful sums, again without increasing the tax burden on ordinary workers. Then there are the global tech giants, including Amazon that get away with paying very little tax. We… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Thanks Padi. I’ve been banging on about the tax loopholes until my keyboard got fatigue ! On the corporate front there is a toxic combination of shifting revenues internationally to evade local taxes on the one hand and an exceedingly generous treatment of “expenses” on the other. 100% capital allowances are all well and good hypothetically but would any government extend the same help to Joe and Jane Public to offset the cost of buying their first home ? It’s just another part of the extractive process that sucks the loot out of public funds and working peoples’ pockets and… Read more »

Mawkernewek
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Indeed, at the current rate of rightward progress from Corbyn four years ago to Starmer today where does the Labour Party get to after another four years?

Frank
Frank
2 months ago

The government won’t do anything about profiteering companies because it means extra taxation money for the treasury. On top of that lots of politicians are probably heavily invested into all sorts of companies. Just look at Liz Truss who was found to have shares with Shell who have been announcing billions in profit. We have no chance when we have self-serving people running the country. What we need is leaders with no connections with this sort of activity. Fat chance!!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Agreed totally. We do need leaders with no connections but as you say we have two chances. No chance and fat chance.

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago

I would call this government incompetent, and not expect anything positive to be done about the cost of living, but, they are not incompetent, they seem to be able to generate billions for themselves family and friends and businesses. They just could not care less about the population at large, so expect nothing, and you will not be disappointed.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
2 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Then it is all our responsibilities to ensure that the Tory party is reduced to a small minority party and can never come back in any of the countries of the British Isles.

We must however oppose any one party states.

Make sure that Plaid Cymru is the largest party and The Greens, Liberal democrats and Labour are the only other parties in the Senedd.
And in England, as it seems the Labour is the biggest party, that the Liberal democrats and Greens are the alternative government to labour there.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 months ago

Greed is common place and actively promoted by the ‘market knows best’ UK government. This sort of profiteering is widening the inequality in the UK, those at the top are getting richer at the expense of the rest of us. Many in Westminster are part of this group of profiteers. As an independent country we would have a opportunity to stop this, start a fresh. It’ll never happen while we are part of this corrupt Union.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
2 months ago

I doubt the tories could ever comprehend the level of suffering low incomes in a cost of living crisis is causing. Completely out of touch with real life, they don’t know and they don’t care. Unfortunately Starmer’s LP and its Welsh branch in the Senedd are unlikely to be much better. They appear to want to follow the failed monetarism of the tories. Plaid Cymru and Independence from Westminster is the only answer if Wales is to flourish.

Chris
Chris
2 months ago

Westminster has failed. English Labour have lurched so far right to chase the Tory vote that Scotland and Wales no longer have a party that can get in to government that reflect our more progressive views. PR or independence are the only options, and Starmer doesn’t want PR, he’d rather enable the Tories in 5 years.

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