Food prices soar by a third

16 Aug 2023
People shopping in a supermarket

Rishi Sunak has failed people on food inflation.

This Government should be standing up for struggling families and pensioners hammered by soaring food prices. Yet they are so out of touch that, they seem happy to stand by as millions struggle just to pay for the weekly shop.

Food prices have risen by 30% in the last two years, the biggest rise on record, according to Liberal Democrat analysis of new official statistics.

The 30% two-year rise in the Office for National Statistics’ index of food prices between July 2021 and last month dwarfs the previous record of 19.3% between February 2007 and February 2009, at the height of the financial crisis.

Customer takes product from freezer

Cost of essentials shoots up

The average price of a loaf of bread has gone up by 52p (27%) in the last two years.

A pint of milk is up 24p (57%),

Source: ONS.

Unless there is a clear urgent plan to tackle rising food prices, anything else Rishi Sunak says is just another empty promise. 

Liberal Democrats want to see the government cracking down on anyone profiteering - from supermarkets to food multinationals - and helping farmers and traders hit by costly red tape, so people get the fair deal they deserve.

Our plan to protect shoppers

Punnets of raspberries, blackberries and redcurrants

1. Invest an extra billion pounds in British farms, to boost food production

We should be supporting our farmers to boost the UK’s environmentally-friendly and sustainable food supply.

Starting by targeting support at shortage areas, we can protect ourselves from import shocks, put more good-quality food on the shelves, and bring down prices for the long term.

Tomato plants growing in a greenhouse

2. Cut energy bills for farms and businesses

In April, the Government cut energy support for businesses by 85%, forcing farmers and shops to raise their prices. We’d put that support back in place, cutting costs for producers and retailers.

And in the meantime, the Government should ensure that energy-intensive farms qualify for extra support.

Moored fishing boat

3. Let our farmers and fishers recruit the staff they need

The Government’s unfair visa rules have left our farmers and fishers producing less food because they can’t recruit enough workers. Tonnes of fruit and veg has gone to waste as a result.

The Government must fix its broken visa system which is holding back our food supply, by scrapping arbitrary salary thresholds. 

Children being served school meals

4. Free school meals for every child in poverty

Unfair rules put in place by the Conservatives in 2018 have excluded 800,000 children growing up in poverty from Free School Meals. And another 200,000 eligible children are missing out because they’re not registered.

The Government must immediately end this injustice by scrapping the arbitrary household income threshold, and automatically enrolling every eligible child.




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