Fish fingers get more expensive and wages tumble after Brexit

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 @AdamBarnett13 

See: Tories under fire for ‘chilling callousness’ of new benefit cap

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

6 Responses to “Fish fingers get more expensive and wages tumble after Brexit”

  1. Mick

    It’s remarkable how, when it suits the Left, they throw themselves behind corporates using any excuse to jack up prices. Just ‘cos it’s over Brexit. No reasons are ever good enough, usually. Especially with food… even when the EU made food mountains to keep grub bills up anyway, just to ‘protect’ surly lorry-burning French farmers’ bank balances!

    Birds Eye may say they have an excuse – they don’t, especially as nothing has happened yet – but Walkers are based in Britain, using domestically-sourced ingredients and producing and selling for the domestic main market. There’ll be no ‘blockade’, or whatever the Remainers dream up next for Project Fear.

    And I don’t see ALL grub rising to sky-high prices. So again, LFF cherrypicks to suit its agenda, even riding the vehicle of junk food price misery! How dare we be parted from our cholestrol and whatnot!

    Come on!

  2. Patrick Kelly

    Interesting how the Brexiteers are now suggesting that the higher prices predicted by the Remain campaign aren’t genuine but are the result of a conspiracy of Remainers and ‘Big Business’. The Mail has already started on this line with Unilever. Expect more of the same.

  3. Mick

    Oh come on, Padders! You remember – don’t you? – how Decimalisation was one excuse to shoot prices up, using that whole ‘transition to being like Europe’ as convenient cover. (Or even ‘being in Europe’, in reference to those food mountains, too.)

    The article itself even touches on the real objective of trying anything once, if you can get away with giving more for less.

    And even on the Left’s terms, wages have less to do with the EU and more to do – in the words of that BBC guy – with Tory ‘Nazis’.

    Way to bend a narrative to suit Remain propaganda! Then they have the nerve to pick on Boris Johnson!

  4. Andrew Hennager

    The cost of living has been going up for as long as I can remember and wages have stagnated since 2008. Blaming these things on Brexit is a very cynical attempt by sore losers to scupper the biggest democratic mandate in history. Prior to June 23rd all these things would have been blamed on austerity.

  5. Imran Khan

    Ok, fish fingers have increased in price but do you have any evidence for ” tumbling ” wages?

  6. Michael WALKER

    >Imran Khan
    Another story conflating what happens “between 2007 and 2015” with what happens in 2016.

    Disingenuous or does not have clue? Make up your mind.

Leave a Reply