BRC and Usdaw respond to staggering 11.7% RPI inflation

As the British Retail Consortium have assured retailer commitment to mitigating prices amid record high inflation, Usdaw has urged the government to offer more support.

The responses come after the Office for National Statistics revealed that Retail Prices Index has reached 11.7% and the Consumer Price Index has peaked at 9.1% – indicating inflation has reached a 40 year high.

With food inflation hitting a CPI 8.6%, the BRC recognised that households and business would continue to feel the squeeze from rising prices – as “higher energy prices, a tight labour market and increasing transport and commodity costs filter through to consumers.”

READ MORE: Cost-of-living crisis: Asda boss calls for VAT reduction to ‘kill’ inflation

“Fierce competition for market share means that retailers will continue try to absorb as much of these costs as possible and look for cost-savings elsewhere,” BRC CEO Helen Dickinson said.

“Retailers are working hard to do what they can to protect their customers from price rises, including by expanding value ranges, keeping the cost of essentials down and providing discounts for certain vulnerable groups. With inflation only set to rise, the BRC will continue to work with retailers to find ways to mitigate future price rises.”
However, Usdaw claimed the cost of living crisis required “government intervention to support low-paid workers” and wasn’t simply the case of retailers offering discounts.
“The Government has offered only sticking plasters that go nowhere near covering rising prices and bills, so there needs to be significant increases in minimum wage rates and fundamental reforms to end insecure work,” Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said.
“People claiming in-work welfare payments need an immediate increase by at least the level of inflation. This should be followed by an urgent and fundamental overhaul of Universal Credit to ensure a social security benefit that properly supports claimants.”
Lillis added: “Usdaw additionally calls for a reduction in VAT, which is generally accepted to be a regressive tax, adversely impacting low income households.”


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