Could high street pinch fuel buyers' remorse for Leavers?
‘Love it or hate it’ was the marketing slogan for Marmite a few years back, and could easily apply to Britain’s vote to leave the EU. But might people move from the first camp to the second as prices rise and wages tumble?
Fish fingers and crisps could get more expensive as Birds Eye and Walkers call on supermarkets to raise prices by up to 12 per cent, the Observer reported yesterday.
The news follows ‘Marmageddon’ – the row between Marmite producers Unilever and Tesco over the condiment’s price last month, which led to empty shelves in some outlets.
Food companies will try to cut costs and maximise profits, as you can see whenever you open a bag of Doritos and find it less than half full. But as with our public finances, Brexit gives added incentive and excuse, and you can bet it will be the poorest who feel the pinch.
A weak pound against the euro (down 14.5 per cent) and the dollar (down 18 per cent) since the EU vote raises costs for food companies on ingredients and prices – costs likely to be dumped on consumers.
Meanwhile, Britain has enjoyed the biggest fall in real wages in the OECD of any country besides Greece – a decline of 10.4 per cent between 2007 and 2015. And guess what? Things have only gotten worse since the referendum, with wage growth slipping to 2.1 per cent in the three months to July. It was down again in August (the latest figures we have).
Food more expensive, wages growing slowly… This is a very strange way of people gaining ‘control’ over their lives.
How long before leave voters experience buyers’ remorse?
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.