Today our guest editor Dalton Philips has been in the office, offering his perspective on some of the week’s developing stories. A video of our Q&A with the Morrisons chief executive will go up on thegrocer.co.uk later in the week.
Talking of coming attractions, you’ll probably be aware that it’s the Budget tomorrow.
There’s been speculation that George Osborne could follow up last week’s Responsibility Deal with tax-breaks for low-alcohol beers. And the BBPA today sent the Chancellor a ‘Budget basket’ of ales to focus his mind on what it sees as the unfair taxation on lower-strength booze.
While they hope Osborne will abandon the previous government’s escalator and freeze duty on beer, retailers will be wondering if he’ll close the loophole that lets some sell DVDs on the cheap via Jersey.
And the whole industry will be hoping for some relief on fuel. As we reported last month, the spiralling cost of oil has been wreaking havoc with bottom lines in grocery. That and rising commodity costs have contributed to today’s two-year high on inflation, the CPI jumping to 4.4% in February.
A rare bonus for consumers was that amid the rising price of food, clothing and footwear, the price of alcohol actually fell over the period. But with public health so high up the agenda, nobody in government will be drinking to that.
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