FAMILIES have resorted to stealing baby formula because of rising prices, ministers have been warned.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss told the Commons that the price of formula is “one of the most worrying increases” as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

MPs also heard that baby formula has been security tagged or kept behind the shop counter to deter theft.

Glasgow Central MP Thewliss told the Commons: “One of the most worrying increases in food prices is for infant formula, some of which is now so expensive it is security tagged and kept behind the till because families have resorted to stealing it.

“What is the Government doing to make sure that infant formula is available to families who need it? Because at this price many cannot afford it at all.”

Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse replied: “Obviously we are monitoring all prices, particularly in vital areas like formula, very closely and I know she will welcome therefore the support that is going to eight million houses on means-tested benefits starting from today, with another instalment in the future coming this autumn on top of the assistance that has already been given.

“We have put something like £37 billion now into the system to assist families, but we constantly keep these things under review and will act if needed.”

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In response to the cost-of-living crisis, £650 is being given out to struggling families in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.

The first Government cost-of-living payment of £326 is being given out on Thursday, with the second payment of £324 scheduled for the autumn.

Thewliss told the PA news agency outside the Commons: “The increasing cost of infant formula is a real issue for many families right now – it’s an essential that they simply cannot cut back on.

“The response from Kit Malthouse lacks urgency. The UK Government must act now to ensure families who need infant formula can afford to access it.

“A good start would be increasing the money available to families, as Scotland has done through the Scottish child payment, and scrapping the two-child limit in Universal Credit which now affects 359,000 households and 1.3 million children.”