Buy value-brand groceries to help cost of living, says Cabinet minister

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Shoppers should consider buying value brands at the supermarket to help take the sting out of the cost of living crisis, a Cabinet minister has suggested. 

George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, said the Government recognised food prices are rising but argued there are ways for people to “contain and manage their household budget”. 

He told Sky News: “The thing to bear in mind is that if you look at household spending on food in the UK it is actually the lowest in Europe, partly because we have got that very competitive market.

“It used to be for the poorest 20 per cent of households, about 16 per cent of their income used to go on food. That dropped a few years ago to about 14 per cent.

“It is going to rise again now but generally speaking what people find is that by going for some of the sort of value brands rather than own-branded products that they can actually sort of contain and manage their household budget. 

“But it will undoubtedly put a pressure on household budgets and of course it comes on top of those high gas prices as well.”

Pat McFadden MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, reacted to Mr Eustice’s comments, saying: “This is woefully out of touch from a government with no solution to the cost of living crisis facing working people.

“People are seeing their wages fall, fuel and food costs rise, and families are worried about how to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the Government to get real help to people rather than comments that simply expose how little they understand about the real struggles people are facing to pay their bills”.

Liberal Democrat Work & Pensions spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain MP said: “These comments show George Eustice and the Conservatives are living in a parallel universe. Families and pensioners who can’t afford their weekly shop need more help, not patronising advice from a clueless minister.”

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