A ban on promotional deals for junk food could be pushed back because of the cost of living crisis, it has been reported. The ban on buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) deals is part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bid to reduce child obesity.
The Times reports that any bills that could increase costs for family could be delays. This could also include suspending planned checks on imported goods the the need to record staff working hours.
The paper says Downing Street chief of staff Steve Barclay, is looking for new regulation that could be delayed, or existing rules that could be suspended, to help households facing a £1,100 hit to incomes this year. Ministers on the domestic economic strategy committee have been urged to “consider what non-fiscal measures we might take to manage the pressure on household finances”.
This comes as households are braced for an average 54 per cent increase in energy bills which will hit as fuel prices soar at the pumps and inflation hits 6.2 per cent. The Times reports Mr Barclay as writing to cabinet colleagues saying they “should be challenging themselves: testing whether existing assumptions about what is possible still stand in the face of the heightened pressure on households”.
The jump in the cost of living is putting household budgets under pressure, with some having to choose between heating and eating.
Here are some resources available if you need help.
Citizens Advice is an independent charity offering free, confidential support with legal, consumer, housing, debt and other problems. Its website details what help is available and where your nearest bureau is, for face-to-face advice.
Helpline: 0800 144 8848 (open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
The Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust supports a national network of more than 1,200 food banks, providing emergency food for free to those who need it. You can use its website to locate support wherever you live.
Helpline: 0808 208 2138 (open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
Turn2us is a national charity providing practical support to people who are struggling financially. Its website includes a benefits calculator and details of schemes and grants in your area, including for energy and water bills.
Helpline: 0808 802 2000 (open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
George Eustice, the environment secretary, is understood to want to suspend the plans to ban promotional deals on junk food to help the food industry and avoid a hit to family shopping bills. The ban was due due to be introduced in April. Government efficiency minister Jacob Rees-Mogg and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng are said to be sympathetic to the delay. No decision has yet been made, the paper says.
Caroline Cerny of the Obesity Health Alliance was quoted as saying: “Research has proved that promotions don’t actually save money, but lead to unplanned purchases and spending more.”
An EU rule that means employers have to keen written records of staff working hours and post-Brexit border and custom checks are also to be re-examined ahead of the strategy committee’s decision next month.