Money Wellness
Image of a man carrying a supermarket basket containing milk in front of the bread aisle
category iconcost of living
calendar icon31 May 2023

Government reveals plans to limit prices for basic food

The government wants supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary cap for basic food items to ease the UK’s cost of living squeeze.

With food and drink prices rising at the fastest pace in more than 40 years and no let up in sight, the government is planning to ask retailers to agree to maximum prices for some basic goods such as bread and milk to lower food prices and tackle inflation.

The plan appears to be like an agreement reached recently between the French government and the country’s food retailers to set the ‘lowest possible prices’ on several everyday products for an initial three months. Under the agreement, announced in March, retailers could select which items this applied to, and these are marked with a special logo.

In the past 12 months, sugar has risen 42.1%, with milk, cheese and eggs soaring by 29.7%, and pasta and meat up 24.1% and meat 17.4% respectively according to the ONS consumer price inflation index.

The number of people having to use food banks for the first time because of rising food prices was 760,000 between April 2022 and March 2023, with around 3% of families in the UK needing help to buy food.

This mirrors what we’re seeing too, where in the past month 9% of people who got in touch for help with their debts, said they could no longer afford food.

If you need help to feed your family, you can find your nearest food bank at The Independent Food Aid Network ( also has a map of 1,172 independent banks operating across the UK.


Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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