The chair of Waitrose and The John Lewis Partnership, Sharon White, has claimed the UK is set to face double-digit inflation as the war in Ukraine amplifies the soaring cost of living.
The prediction comes after the Office of National Statistics (ONS) unveiled inflation rates are at a 30-year high and is expected to rise to almost 8% in April.
Talking to BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, White said: “Everything you can see in terms of energy prices from the impact of the Ukraine war suggests that we might well end up with double-digit inflation.
“My big worry is that it ends out being more enduring than anyone expects. So I think inflation is the big macroeconomic washout.”
John Lewis will also be reinstating its staff bonus, which will be returning at 3% for this year after reporting a strong bounce-back in 2021.
“We kept that relief, that exemption from tax, we used that exactly for the purposes intended, which was to secure jobs and to avoid further restructuring,” she said.
“So I make no apologies for paying the bonus to partners who have worked their socks off over the last year.
“Do I think it was the right thing that we have been able to pay a bonus to partners on the back of results? I feel very comfortable morally, absolutely it was the right decision.”