Tesco boss John Allan has warned the “worst is still to come” for those on the lowest incomes.
The supermarket giant chairman said today that a five per cent hike in the weekly food shop will “squeeze” the poorest in Britain.
He admitted some people will have less to spend on luxuries, the Mirror reportsamid a National Insurance hike and a £693 rise in the average family’s annual energy bill, to £1,971.
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And he said the rise – offset by only £350 of government help, of which £200 has to be paid back – “is going to squeeze the hardest-up still harder”.
On the BBC, Tesco boss Mr Allan claimed the supermarket chain brings down prices where it can.
The cheapest tin of beans at the supermarket is now 22p – down from 25p five years ago.
For poor families, he told BBC’s Sunday Morning: “In some ways, the worst is still to come – because although food price in Tesco last quarter was only 1%, we are impacted by rising energy prices. Our suppliers are impacted by rising energy prices.
“The likelihood is that inflation figure will rise. We’re doing all we can to offset it.”
He added: “I predicted last Autumn that food prices by the Spring might be rising at about 5%.
“I sincerely believe it’s not going to be any more than that, it might even be slightly less.
“But that’s the sort of number we’re talking about. Of course, 5% – if you’re spending, as some of the least well-off families are spending, 15% of household income – is significant.
“It troubles us and I’m sure troubles many people that people may have to struggle to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families.
“That’s clearly not a situation any of us should tolerate.”
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