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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Now MPs pay the price of Brexit

Whilst the rest of us suffer price hikes due to the impact of Brexit on the exchange rates, it seems that MPs are immune, but no more.

The Independent reports that MPs and their staff are facing price hikes for food and drink served in Parliament’s canteens, restaurants and bars, following a sharp fall in the Pound due to the Brexit vote.

They say that a notice posted by the parliamentary authorities at canteen tills announced that prices will be going up across Westminster “to reflect price changes in the supply chain”:

Like many British eateries, Parliament sources some of its food and drink from suppliers abroad and the fall in the pound from a high of $1.59 in 2015 to a low of just $1.20 after the referendum has pushed up costs.

The parliamentary price rise is reflective of trends in the wider economy, which has seen inflation jump 0.5 per cent between January and February this year. The Office for National Statistics said food prices were the biggest driver of the price surge, with analysts blaming a time-lagged weak pound for higher import costs.

Mothercare was the latest retailer to announce a post-Brexit price rise on Friday, with the maternity retailer announcing a 5 per cent hike for clothing and toys this summer.

The food sector is one of those most keenly hit by the Sterling crash because nearly half of all food consumed in the UK is imported. A recent survey conducted by MySupermarket found significant price rises in a range of leading supermarkets including Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.

It is worth noting of course that Parliament’s numerous eateries serve around 13,000 pass-holders and their guests, as well as visiting members of the public and remain heavily subsidised by taxpayers. Isn't it time that subsidy was reviewed as well?
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