To deal with the current living-cost issue,

To deal with the current living-cost issue,

To deal with the rising cost of living, Britons should choose bargain brands, according to a minister.

The environment secretary has recommended that shoppers may deal with rising food costs and the cost of living problem by purchasing discount brands at the supermarket.

George Eustice, the cabinet member in charge of food and farming, told Sky News that food prices were rising as a result of increasing energy costs, which pushed up fertiliser and feed costs.

“In general, what consumers discover is that by shopping for some of the discount brands rather than own-branded things – they can really limit and manage their household budget,” he added.

“It will surely put a strain on household budgets, and it comes on top of those high gas costs.”

He claimed a “very, very competitive retail market with ten big supermarkets and the four main ones competing very aggressively, particularly on some of the lower-cost, everyday value items for households, so things like spaghetti and ambient products – there’s a lot of competition to keep those prices down.”

“Where it gets more difficult is with items like chicken and poultry, as well as certain fresh produce, where those increased feed prices do wind up getting passed through the system because these folks work on wafer-thin margins and have to pass that cost through,” Eustice explained.

He also suggested that Elsie, the 77-year-old woman who said she was riding the buses to stay warm, seek assistance from her local council. Boris Johnson has already been chastised for bragging about bringing in free bus passes when presented with the story of a woman struggling to heat her house.

“What would my counsel be to Elsa (sic)?” Eustice told Sky News. So, my advise would be, you know, don’t spend all day on a bus trying to remain warm. My recommendation is to seek assistance from the local government.”

Labour shadow Treasury minister Pat McFadden called Eustice’s remarks “woefully out of touch from an administration with no answer to the cost-of-living problem affecting working people.”

“People’s earnings are falling, gasoline and food prices are rising, and families are worrying about how to make ends meet,” he added.

“It’s past time for the government to provide actual assistance to individuals rather than statements that show how little they understand about the real problems people face in trying to pay their obligations.”

“These statements suggest George Eustice and the Conservatives are living in a parallel universe,” Wendy Chamberlain, the Liberal Democrat employment and pensions spokesman, said.

“Families and seniors who can’t afford to buy groceries on a monthly basis want additional assistance, not patronising counsel from an inept minister.”

“This is Boris Johnson’s Britain’s harsh reality. Oil and gas companies are making billions, while people are being encouraged to buy low-cost food and retirees are being forced to use the bus to stay warm.”

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