Reports that ministers are working with supermarkets to voluntarily cap the price of basic food items were slammed by Clive Black at Shore Capital.
“It looks like when it comes to food policy at least, there are no grownups around in 10 Downing Street or DEFRA,” he said.
The highly-respected retail analyst was scathing, saying the Prime Minister’s interest in food price controls “beggars’ belief” in terms of being two-faced (we want farmers to be paid more but shopper to pay less) amidst wider policy failure.
“No one in Whitehall, it seems, has the wit to look in the mirror and think how Government directly and indirectly contributes to inflation,” he added.
Black felt the UK Government should reflect on how its “frankly poor energy strategy, crazy immigration policies, poor education and skills delivery, and at times inappropriate legislation have contributed to the cost base of industry that must be collected back from the market if business is to survive.”
For the grocers, Black said the talk of potential price controls was frankly a “bizarre and depressing narrative,” the impact of which can have all sorts of wider ramifications through the supply chain whilst not doing anything to help with supply-side cost pressures, much of which comes from Government.
“Forked tongue, two-faced, whatever one calls it, the UK Government is just not doing it for business,” Black continued.
“The wider reputation of the UK as a place to invest is also not assisted by supply-side failure, poor administration and frankly, hair-brained policy ideas,” he added.