Ann Widdecombe has told people to not make cheese sandwiches if they cannot afford to buy the ingredients as a way to deal with the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Tara Cobham www.independent.co.uk
The politician, who is a member of the Reform UK party, was asked what she would advise people faced with the spiralling costs of basic food items on a panel discussing BBC research that showed the price of a homemade cheese sandwich has shot up by a third in the past year to 40p.
On the Politics Live programme, the former Brexit Party MEP said: “You don’t do the cheese sandwich.”
She added there was no “given right” to low food prices and spoke of how farmers would “constantly” complain to her about supermarket pricing when she was Conservative MP for Maidstone.
“The only way this is going to be tackled is if inflation is going to come down,” Ms Widdecombe said. “You will not get inflation coming down if you continue to have inflationary wage rises.
“We just have to be as grown-up about this as we can and stop thinking it’s solely a UK problem, because it isn’t.”
New Statesman journalist Rachel Cunliffe said the situation is so dire for some families that they “cannot afford to feed their children” as a result of the increasing price of basic items. But Ms Widdecombe shot back: “None of it’s new. We’ve been through this before.
“The problem is we’ve been decades now without inflation, we’ve come to regard it as some kind of given right…”
Separately, Ms Widdecombe has suggested those claiming unemployment benefits should be made to fill labour shortages by picking fruit.
Speaking on Jeremy Vine on 5, she said: “I ask why it is that we’ve got 1.2 million people on the dole, and I do mean on the dole, on unemployment benefit. Some of them obviously wouldn’t be fit enough to work at fruit picking. But 1.2 million?
“And the word that is always used is that our people aren’t ‘willing’ to pick. Now ‘willing’ doesn’t matter if you’re drawing public money – I think you should be made to pick.”