A near empty food cupboard. Photo: Oxfam.

The SNP has highlighted figures which they claim show continued uncertainty over Brexit is driving up food prices, accusing the UK Government of “playing games” with the UK’s future.

While many businesses have spoken out over the damage continuing uncertainty is causing in terms for trade and employment, households are also feeling the pinch with a particularly pronounced rise the growth rate of food prices – which rose at their fastest rate in four years to October 2017.

With the Tories so far failing to commit to continuing membership of the single market or customs union, the value of the pound has plummeted, sending the cost of a weekly family grocery shop skyrocketing.

This is compounded by the fact that Tory austerity means a fall in household disposable incomes and living standards, according to analysis by the Resolution Foundation, say the SNP.

A Trussell Trust foodbank. Photo credit: Newfrontiers via photopin cc

Commenting, Holyrood Economy Committee member Tom Arthur MSP said: “While the Tories continue to play games over the future of the country, it’s Scottish families who’re left paying the price.

“The UK’s negotiations with Brussels have been utterly shambolic, creating uncertainty in the markets and leaving the pound to sink like a stone.

“In turn, inflation has meant a pronounced rise in food prices and folk are starting to notice the difference at the till in their local supermarket.

“This would be bad enough on its own, but it comes on top of falling living standards because of Tory cuts and a UK government which has put a lid on pay rises.”

He continued: “Families are taking a hammering from the Tories and yet they continue to plough on towards the disaster of a hard Brexit.

“Meanwhile the SNP is serious about protecting Scottish households from economic harm by remaining within the single market. We’re investing in public services despite more Tory cuts and we’re giving workers a pay rise.

“Sadly Holyrood still lacks the full powers we need to stop the Tories throwing Scottish families under the Brexit bus as we crash out of the single market.

“But as more people feel the impact of a Tory Brexit on their pockets, the more they’ll see the value of taking decisions for ourselves in an independent Scotland.”