Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as food prices rise at fastest rate since at least 2005
Supermarkets are also scrambling to hire staff to get through the Christmas rush.
Sainsbury’s has revealed it is hiring for 18,000 seasonable jobs – 15,000 roles at its supermarkets, 2,000 at its Argos catalogue retailer and 1,000 in its logistics division.
“We know how tough it is for households right now and as well as excellent value for customers we are committed to leading colleague pay.
“Our new higher base rate, colleague discount and free food during shifts ensures colleagues will be well-rewarded for their hard work.”
The Guardian has seen documents, marked “official sensitive”, which warn that in a “reasonable worst-case scenario” all sectors including transport, food and water supply, communications and energy could be “severely disrupted” for up to a week.
They show that ministers will prioritise getting food, water and shelter to the young and elderly people, as well as those with caring responsibilities, if the country experiences blackouts, with the Met Office warning that Britain faces a higher risk of a cold winter.