PEOPLE could be spending MORE on LESS food for their Christmas dinner this year, retail experts have revealed.
The Scottish Retail Consortium have issued a warning on rising food costs, due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and the effect that is having on supermarkets and families across the country over the festive period.
And that could mean shoppers shelling out extra for turkey and all the trimmings, but ending up with less of it in their baskets.
A SRC spokesperson said: “Food prices have risen particularly fast lately owing to higher energy costs, higher cost of animal feed, higher cost of fertiliser, higher transport costs – and that has meant that prices have risen significantly making things very difficult for families across the country.
“The reality at the moment is that inflation is outstripping wage growth and that is one of the reasons that there is a cost-of-living crisis at the moment.
“The most recent figures that have come out of the British Retail Consortium today (Tuesday, December 6), show that overall sales are up by 4.26%.
“In normal times that would be very good but, in reality, that reflects the fact that prices are rising. Prices are rising by 12% in food for instance. The inflation rate is about 11% in the UK.
“That means that people are spending more but getting less, so volume sold in stores is less.“
The spokesperson added: “The amount of money going in sounds beneficial to retailers, but it’s not as their costs are also going up at a faster rate than 4.26%, so in real terms they’re also doing worse.”
On Tuesday, a TUC report showed the price of bread sauce and cranberry sauce has risen by 33 per centover the past year – six times faster than wages.
The reports says that if wages had gone up as much as the cost of a turkey this Christmas, the average worker would have an extra £76 a week in their pay packet.
Other Christmas foods such as pigs in blankets, turkey and roast potatoes have risen by an average of 18%. The rise in the cost of these products is over three times more than the rise in wages, and over 1.6 times the national inflation rate of the UK.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Ministers can no longer ignore the crisis facing working families. The Government needs to shield families from the misery of the coming recession.
“That means raising the minimum wage to £15 an hour as soon as possible. It means a proper pay rise for our dedicated public sector workers, and it means getting wages rising across the economy for everyone.”
Additional reporting by Zak Kelly