Price hikes would have seen outrage

WHEN I was a boy – now I’m catching grumpy old man syndrome – food prices never used to rocket like they do now.

If bread went up a penny a loaf, it was front page news. Seriously.

The same sort of outcry and public concern always followed a price rise for milk, fuel and beer, and I can recall the huge furore the first time a pint cost �1.

Household bills seemed to stay stable for much longer when I was in short trousers.

Somewhere along the line though we have become less bothered – or just immune – to price rises, and now don’t seem to care a jot if something jumps 30p in a week at the supermarket.

That would have been 72 old pence in my primary school days and if bread or some other vital item had risen that much in a week it would have brought down the government.

So why are we content now to just accept these outrageous increases?

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Buying my dozen eggs at Iceland (other supermarkets are available) two weeks ago, I discovered they had shockingly (I was shocked but perhaps others didn’t even notice) gone up from �1 to �1.25 overnight.

Now that’s a 25 per cent hike.

Inflation is currently 3.5pc, so why didn’t they go up 4p or 5p? That at least would have been understandable, and acceptable. How can anyone justify a 25pc rise?

Are we that bothered? Should we be? Let’s face it, 25p doesn’t break the bank and those eggs are still better value than elsewhere.

It’s not just Iceland doing it though. On our fortnightly trips to Tesco, we notice similar rises in every aisle – goods sometimes up by unfathomable amounts on previous weeks, as if they have suddenly become rarities. To be fair to Tesco, prices of other items will often drop just as dramatically and mysteriously – only to rise inexplicably a few weeks later.

The cumulative effect of all these fluctuations is of course to increase everyone’s food bills.

But what I really want is a real explanation of why prices no longer remain as still as they used to.