Michael Meacher\’s Bright Ideas

For as long as soaring food prices last, supermarkets should be required to provide hampers of good-quality food for pensioners and others on benefit at cost price or below. A social tariff should be fixed for pensioners and low-income families so that they can purchase gas and oil at below-market price that they can afford.

Amazing, eh?

I can get the idea that if we as a society think it wrong that people starve or freeze then we as a society should pony up the tax money to pay for those things they need.

But to insist that a private business should do that for us seems a little, well, like theft actually.

11 thoughts on “Michael Meacher\’s Bright Ideas”

  1. Judging by the letter I received from British Gas last week offering me special low rates on Gas and Electricity if I happened to be claiming one of a long list of benefits, this appears to be already happening.

  2. Not to worry, because he’s got an equivalent scheme whereby private house-owners have to supply housing free to the poor too. Hasn’t he? If not, why not?

  3. What he doesn’t seem to realise is that supermarkets already do provide good quality staple goods at below cost price. For example milk which the supermarkets sell at less than the farmer. They do this not because of government dikat but because it is good for business. They are often called Known Value Items, because most consumers will know their value and the price in several different shops.

    These are products that are readily compared across stores, the competitive market for groceries naturally pushes their price down towards the point of no profit, but in these cases also below profit as a way of enticing people into the store where they will also buy other higher profit items (which still get thought of as cheap because of the low cost of the known value items). The entire basket will land the supermarket a nice profit, but the staple goods won’t. They are there as another way to try and get feet through the door.

  4. BlacquesJacquesShellacqes

    “What he doesn’t seem to realise is that supermarkets already do provide good quality staple goods at below cost price”

    I worked for some years for a charitable home for alcoholic men trying to recover. The local grocery chains gave us a lot of good free food. It was good quality, sometimes not the best quality and sometimes near its expiry date, etc. Lots of times they also gave us best quality free stuff just ‘because’. For example, they gave us a huge stack of frozen sausages not selling well and threw in mustard, pickles, bread/buns.

    They were good decent people.

    How much does Meacher give to the poor?

  5. Are you trying to do us ancient pensioners out of our rightful supply of jam donuts?
    Bloody capitalist !!

  6. An awful lot of people in the comments have taken him to task for having a huge property portfolio himself.

    Now, the thing is – did he assume that all the good Guardianistas wouldn’t mention it? Did he forget he had it?

    Or is he truly blind to his own hypocrisy?

  7. Is he not aware that thanks to the supermarkets, the poor already have access to far cheaper food than they would otherwise.

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