Southend Blogger Jack Monroe writes here about increases in the price of basic foods:
As someone who buys pretty much the same items every week, spending around a tenner a time, I know the prices of the Sainsburys Basics range by heart. Bread is 50p a loaf, whether white or wholemeal. Chopped tomatoes are 33p for a cardboard carton. Kidney beans are 18p for a tin. Apples are 82p. Sainsburys Basics strawberry jam was, the last time I checked, 29p a jar. Not today. Today it was 35p a jar. People will be rolling their eyes now, that I’m quibbling over 6p, but it’s not the only 6p hike in the Basics range…
… Again, I can almost hear the tuts. “Oh, it’s only 6p, what’s she going on about?”
What she’s going on about, is the price of food. Strawberry jam is 120% of the price of strawberry jam two weeks ago. If in some horrible world, the inflation of the price of food carries on at that rate, it will be 42p in a fortnight, and over £40 a jar by the end of the year. Of course that won’t happen, but it’s a demonstrative figure as to how effective that ‘small’ 6p hike could be.
Having worked for one of the ‘big four’ supermarkets myself, I know how they work. Essential items like bread and milk are at the periphery of the store, and down the middle is what ASDA used to call ‘action alley’, where promotions are piled high and sold cheap. Tins of Christmas chocolates 3 for £10. Crates of beer 2 for £20. Never anything nutritious, or necessary, but marked down and boldly signposted ….
From Scottish Lib Dem Blogger Caron Lindsay on the Child Benefit changes:
…..The thing that worried me, though, was that many stay at home parents, usually mothers, are given a National Insurance credit which goes towards their state pension until their youngest child is 12. What would happen to them if they were no longer claiming child benefit? Would they still get the credits towards their State Pension, or would they get a nasty surprise in a few decades’ time?
I’ve spent some time on the phone to various government helplines this morning to find out. The HMRC helpline was very helpful but when I asked the question, the person I was speaking to actually had to go and look it up and actually said she wasn’t very sure and recommended that I call the Child Benefit people.She told me that if a claim had been made and the claimant decided not to receive the payments, then they would still get the credits. I then phoned the Child Benefit line and they confirmed this, with a lot less faffing. Now that I’ve had it from two Government sources, I’m prepared to believe it.
My only concern is that this is all very well if your children are already here and you’ve made the claim. If, however, you have a baby at any point from now and your partner is a high earner, you might think that you shouldn’t even bother claiming. This would be a mistake if you are not going to go back to work. You have to make the claim to get the credit towards your pension even if you don’t end up taking the money.
I hope that makes sense. It might not affect very many people, but it’s worth taking note.