THE SNP have said the Tory government is “deliberately sitting on its hands while families suffer” – and has called for urgent action to reduce soaring food prices.

Food inflation currently sits at 19.1%, the highest level since the 1970s.

Glasgow East MP David Linden said the UK Government is failing to tackle “greedflation” and that action must be taken to force supermarkets to reduce the cost of everyday food items.

Recent research by the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the SNP, shows other European governments are acting on food inflation and price gouging.

This is in contrast to other countries around Europe which have introduced measures to help struggling families. This includes:

  • Ireland – Supermarkets were given a six-week ultimatum to bring down the cost of a basket of groceries.
  • France – In March, the government in France came to an agreement with major food retailers to cap food prices on a wide range of products to “the lowest possible level”. This has since been extended.
  • Italy – A committee has been appointed to monitor any unusual price movements.

In contrast, Tory minister Mark Harper recently told Parliament: “It is not for HM’s Government to set retail food prices nor to comment on day-to-day commercial decisions by companies.”

It comes as the British Retail Consortium warned that Brexit could cause food prices to rise even further, with new fees on goods coming into the UK from the EU adding “hundreds of pounds” to the cost of importing each lorry-load of produce.

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Linden commented: “The Tory government is deliberately sitting on its hands while families suffer from soaring food prices, greedflation and a cost of living crisis that has spiralled out of control.

“While our European neighbours are taking action to tackle food inflation and price gouging, the UK Government has washed its hands and done nothing to lower prices or help families.

“The Prime Minister must finally take tough action to lower prices in shops, launch an investigation into price gouging, and ensure inflation is not used as an excuse for profiteering.

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“With Brexit damaging the economy and raising prices further, the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party are making the cost of living crisis worse.

“Only the SNP is offering a real alternative with independence.”

The UK Government has been approached for comment.