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Food prices rising at the fastest rate since records began 10 years ago
The cost of 'basic' food from flour to eggs and beef mince to cheese have soared to prices never seen before.
The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, highlight the crippling impact on families struggling to afford their weekly shopping bill.
Soaring: Food prices are rising at their fastest rate since records began. A dozen eggs cost £2 last April - and they now cost £2.80
In the most extreme cases, prices charged by supermarkets and local shops have soared by 40 per cent in just 12 months.
A dozen eggs would have cost £2 last April. The same number of eggs now cost £2.80.
The ONS figures, which are for April, show food prices have jumped 7.2 per cent over the last year, the sharpest rise since records began in 1997.
But this total rise masks a much bigger increase for many of the 'must-have' foods which people put in their shopping basket every week.
Critics say it is a shocking change for everybody who has become used to prices rising slowly, or even falling, in recent years.
The biggest losers are many of the country's 11.2 million pensioners who have to cope with these massive rises on meagre and fixed incomes.
For workers, whose pay rises were just three per cent or less, the struggle to find the money to pay for food is getting worse by the day.
Their financial crisis is compounded by the fact that their other household bills are rising quickly too, such as energy bills and petrol.
Some of the big rises are cheddar cheese, up 19 per cent in April to an average of £6.65 per kilogram, compared to the same month last year.
Margarine is up 18.2 per cent; sliced-white bread up 23 per cent, tea bags up 7.2 per cent, and self-raising flour up 33 per cent.
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