You may have read on Tuesday that our prime minister said soaring supermarket prices were mainly due to international fuel supply problems , adding: "The cost of chickens is crazy.
Except it isn't
The British Poultry Council who one assumes knows a bit about rearing and selling chickens said in response on Twitter "It is not 'mainly fuel' that's the problem, It is everything. Input costs like water, labour, energy and feed are all up," .Citing "ongoing Brexit pressures", the industry body added: "Combined with trade barriers, shipping delays for machinery plus a skills shortage (vets and lorry drivers), this all adds a cost that has to be recovered through the marketplace."
The Council went on to call on the government to strike a veterinary agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules with Brussels to allow for a reciprocal removal of checks on products entering the EU from UK. They said that the government had "repeatedly failed to acknowledge" the need for a "fair" system to help UK producers since the Brexit withdrawal deal kicked in last January. It said members had lost £85m in chicken exports to the EU last year because of unreciprocated controls.
You may think to yourself does this really matter?
It is not unusual for politicians to over-simplify issues to get over a point. Our current Prime Minister seems happy to lie about stuff if he is caught in a difficult corner on a specific issue
However how can we trust the government to make right decisions if they don't understand what the problem is in the first case
Last week we covered a couple of academic reports that showed that our poorly negotiated Brexit deal was leading to price increases (see http://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2022/1428921/behind-at-half-time) and we had the Brexit Opportunities Minister saying putting on import controls "would have been an act of self-harm".
If the government is really serious about helping address the cost of living crisis it would look again at the self imposed restrictions on EU trade which are compounding the world-wide problem of rising energy costs