LORD Stuart Rose has hit out at the Government’s response to the cost of living crisis.
The Tory peer says Ministers have shown a “tin-ear” to the problems tens of millions of people are now facing as they choose between heating and eating.
Mr Rose, the chairman of Asda, told GB News: “I think the Gov has been fairly slow to recognise some of the problems many people are facing. They’ve been slightly tin-eared and slow in putting some actions in place to put in place policies in response.
“The main problem that the Government has is that it’s been handing out millions and millions during Covid so it’s now very hard to explain to people why they can’t hand out more money.
I would do something as a short term package to help people. It’s a tough one but I would also be saying to people who are doing well that it’s time for you to put your hand in your pocket.
It’s shameful that we have the kind of poverty we do in 21st Century Britain.
“I would emphasise to the powers that be that we are the sixth largest economy in the world. Just last week I was walking down the street and saw a lot of people queuing outside a foodbank. I thought that can’t be right in this day and age and we have to help them.”
Mr Rose, who was the previous boss of Marks and Spencer, told GB News’ Alastair Stewart that it was unlikely the current inflationary pressures the economy is seeing will end anytime soon.
He said: “ Last time we had serious inflation it took 10 years to get rid of and I don’t think we are suddenly going to see the end of high prices in 2022. It’s now going to continue for some time.
The Government has a fine line to walk. If it doesn’t handle it carefully we are going to get recessionary pressures which will be worse.”
The comments come as a new GB News poll revealed rising fuel prices and overspending on foreign aid are the most concerning issues amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Forty-nine percent of GB News poll respondents cited rising fuel prices as their primary concern after being asked: “What worries you most about the cost-of-living crisis amid the bleak outlook for Britain’s economy?”
GB News poll on Twitter asking: What worried you most about the cost-of-living crisis amid the bleak outlook for Britain’s economy? @GBNEWS / Twitter
Of the 10,189 people that were polled, 37.5 percent said overspending on foreign aid, eight percent said National Insurance hikes and the remaining 5.5 percent said the cost of the Ukraine-Russia war.
In his Spring Statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was trying to shield lower earners from the impact of the forthcoming national insurance hike, slashed 5p off fuel duty and promised to cut income tax by 1p in 2024.
But many have said the measures don’t go far enough in light of the country’s bleak economic outlook deeply exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war.
Economic growth forecasts have been downgraded and were downgraded and inflation is set to reach its highest level for 40 years, leading to household disposable incomes falling by 2.2 percent per person in 2022-23.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) downgraded growth in gross domestic product – a measure of the size of the economy – from the 6 percent forecast for this year at the time of the Budget in October to 3.8 percent. Next year’s growth forecast has been downgraded from 2.1 percent to 1.8 percent.