Retail bodies call for action as inflation touches new high

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UK inflation has hit 11.1 per cent as energy bills and food prices have driven up the cost of living. Prices have risen 11.1 per cent in the year since October which is up from 10.1 per cent in September.

Responding to the latest CPI inflation figures which shows headline inflation at 11.1 per cent, and food inflation at 16.2 per cent, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

“With the energy price cap rising in October, households found their gas and electricity bills going up again, pushing inflation to a new high. Food prices, particularly for dairy, rose again, driven up by high fertiliser, animal feed, and global food costs. Many customers are keenly anticipating Black Friday deals and other promotions in the run up to Christmas, as they prepare to buy gifts and festive treats. Unfortunately, there are few signs the cost of living crisis will abate any time soon.

“Tomorrow, the Chancellor will unveil the Autumn Budget, where he has the opportunity to provide support for struggling households and relieve some of the costs on retailers and their suppliers, which in turn put pressure on prices. Retailers face an £800m per year hike in business rates from April 2023, so urgent government action is needed to mitigate this and prevent even higher inflation in the new year. The Budget is also a chance to fix the broken transitional relief scheme, that forces retailers to pay far more business rates than they owe.”

The British Independent Retailers Association  (BIRA) has said the chancellor will need to use the autumn statement tomorrow to reassure independent retailers.

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BIRA said: “Today’s news shows the need to control inflation. However, the Chancellor must use the Autumn statement to reassure independent retailers that their cost burden will not be further increased. “The cost of running businesses is contributing to inflation, and so it makes no sense to increase business rates which will simply result in higher prices or closed businesses,” he added.