A good majority of the public supports the idea of bringing in price controls to ease the cost of living crisis, shows a recent polling.
A survey of 1,500 adults by BMG for i reveals nearly seven in 10 (67 per cent) of those questioned backed the idea of introducing price caps on essential goods to help households manage the effects of rampant inflation. Just 13 per cent of respondents opposed the idea, which would see ministers set prices for certain everyday products, such as milk, eggs and bread, in supermarkets.
The policy was briefly considered by Whitehall last month as officials grappled with plans to get a grip on inflation. It came as food inflation soared to 19.1 per cent in the year to April, its highest level in 45 years.
Although both Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has dismissed the idea of price caps, pressure continues to remain on the supermarkets to do more to drive down the cost of the weekly shop, having raised concerns that the big retails were using inflation to “rebuild profit margins”.
The Labour MP Richard Burgon called for ministers to cap prices in the wake of the poll result, saying, “not only would price caps be popular but they are the right thing to do. There is growing evidence that inflation is now being driven by companies hiking their prices to boost profits”.
Labour, though, questions whether price controls would be effective. Critics have claimed price caps would lead to shortages, as food producers would favour selling their products at full price in other countries.