Asda chairman Lord Rose slams Sunak’s £15 billion cost of living package

Asda chairman, Lord Stuart Rose, said the government’s £15 billion cost of living handout is not enough to help struggling familiar and is only a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared with the pressures consumers are facing.

The retail veteran, who previously led Marks and Spencer, Argos and Topshop, said he welcomes the one-off payments announced by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, but said: “There is still going to be continuing pressure and a lot of toughness for people.”

Rose claimed Asda was spending £90 million attempting to keep prices low for its shoppers.

“This is not going to suddenly stop, I can remember the last time inflation was [like this] and it took nearly eight years to get under control, Rose said to The Guardian.

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“I’m not saying it is going to take eight years but it is not going to stop in a year.”

He said the priority should be “trying to get help to those who need it most. You can give me £400 but I don’t need that off my electric bill. It is hard to focus but you need to dig harder for those people who are more disadvantaged.”

Rose said the inflation problem could not be solved by consumer businesses or government alone, but needed both to work with ministers, recognising it could be a long haul.

The news comes as Asda reported a fall in sales during its first quarter thanks to the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Rising essential costs are putting a dampener on retail spending as basket sizes shrink and shoppers flock to discounters such as Lidl and Aldi, as they try to keep within household budgets.

The supermarket sales slid by 9.2% in the three months to 21 March, with like-for-like sales dropping by 7% compared to the same period last year.

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