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Supermarket bosses are to be grilled on whether they are doing enough to tackle inflation, as new figures show household food poverty is escalating despite recent price cuts.

MPs on the cross-party business and trade committee will tomorrow quiz executives from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons as well as Groceries Code Adjudicator Mark White.

Sir Robert Goodwill and Ian Byrne, members of the environment, food and rural affairs committee, are also expected to be taking part in the session at the House of Commons.

Giving evidence will be Morrisons CEO David Potts, Tesco commercial director Gordon Gafa, food commercial director at Sainsbury’s Rhian Bartlett and Asda chief commercial officer Kris Comerford.

Meanwhile, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is expected to release its initial findings next month in a probe on competition in the grocery sector. It is investigating whether they are doing enough to shield consumers from soaring food bills, with the latest ONS figures last week showing food prices easing slightly but remaining at a stubbornly high 18.4%. 

Today Asda’s latest Income Tracker said 80% of UK households saw disposable income fall last month, compared to the same period last year, as rising living costs continued to outstrip wage growth.

It said the decrease was particularly stark for low-earning families, with 40% of UK households falling into negative income territory in May.

Comerford, who was guest editor of last week’s edition of The Grocer, wrote in his column last week that inflation had begun to come down “albeit slowly”.

“We’ve seen that recently in dairy, for example,” he said. “It’s hard to tell exactly how long it will take for more of that to come all the way through, but as we exit this year, we’ve got to hope food inflation will have started to reduce significantly.”

Meanwhile Morrisons boss Potts said at its results last week that inflation remained “disappointingly and stubbornly high” despite “early signs” of it easing.

Despite the CMA and MPs’ scrutiny, ministers have backtracked on plans to price cap certain key products amid massive opposition from supermarket bosses, who said the proposals would do nothing to tackle inflation.