Asda chairman slams government over ‘tin-ear’ response

government over ‘tin-ear’ response
Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

Asda chairman Lord Stuart Rose has hit out at the government’s response to the cost of living crisis, saying ministers have turned a “tin-ear” to the problems that tens of millions of people are now facing as they choose between heating and eating.

“I think the government has been fairly slow to recognise some of the problems many people are facing. They’ve been slightly tin-eared and slow in putting some actions in place to put in place policies in response,” Rose told GB News.

“The main problem that the government has is that it’s been handing out millions and millions during Covid so it’s now very hard to explain to people why they can’t hand out more money.

“I would do something as a short term package to help people. It’s a tough one but I would also be saying to people who are doing well that it’s time for you to put your hand in your pocket.

“It’s shameful that we have the kind of poverty we do in 21st Century Britain,” he said.

Rose, who was the previous boss of Marks and Spencer, told GB News’ Alastair Stewart that it was unlikely the current inflationary pressures the economy is seeing will end anytime soon.

“Last time we had serious inflation it took 10 years to get rid of and I don’t think we are suddenly going to see the end of high prices in 2022. It’s now going to continue for some time.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his spring statement said he was trying to shield lower earners from the impact of the forthcoming national insurance hike, slashed 5p off fuel duty and promised to cut income tax by 1p in 2024.

But many have claimed that the measures don’t go far enough in light of decade-high inflation exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war.