Tesco customers are asking staff to stop scanning their food for first time in years

Tesco customers are asking staff to stop scanning their food for first time in years

A Tesco boss revealed that worried customers are asking check-out staff to stop scanning their shopping once their bills hit a certain limit. John Allan, the retailer’s chairman, said it was further evidence of the impact of cost-of-living pressures.

Talking on BBC Radio 4’s Today show, Mr Allan said he had seen for himself how much the supermarket’s customers are being “extremely stretched” by rocketing prices. On a recent visit to a Tesco store, he witnessed customers asking staff to stop scanning items, reports the MEN.

Mr Allan said it has been a long time since he had seen this happening at the tills. “I was hearing for the first time for many years of customers saying to check-out staff, ‘stop when you get to £40’ or ‘I don’t want to spend a penny over that’,” he told the programme.

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“You know, as opposed to having everything checked out and settling the bill at the end. So I think a lot of people are feeling something of a pinch and lots of people are actually feeling extremely stretched.”

Mr Allan believes there is now an “overwhelming need” for a windfall tax on energy companies. Hoping to see concrete measures in the Queen’s Speech, he said: “First of all, I think action to help people cope with a very, very sharp increase in energy prices.

“It’s harder for people to mitigate energy than it is with food, and I think there’s an overwhelming case for a windfall tax on profits from those energy producers fed back to those most in need of help with energy prices. I think that would be the single biggest thing that could be done.”

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Mr Allan thinks energy companies are “expecting” a windfall tax and he doubts “they would actually be much fazed by it”. In the event, an Energy Security Bill was proposed in the Queen’s Speech but this was focused more on long-term measures than curbing current pressures on household bills.

There was a promise to extend the price cap, which limits the price energy companies can charge for energy. The cap, introduced in 2019, was intended to be temporary and to stay in place only until 2023.

The Bill paves the way for it to become a more permanent part of the market – but the price cap only reflects the market and doesn’t counteract it.



Tesco chairman John Allan says there is now an 'overwhelming need' for a windfall tax on energy companies
Tesco chairman John Allan says there is now an ‘overwhelming need’ for a windfall tax on energy companies

Labor and the Lib Dems have also called for a windfall tax on oil and gas firms to help ease the cost-of-living crisis. Last week, Shell revealed record first-quarter profits thanks to soaring oil and gas prices, just days after bumper earnings from rival BP.

The oil giant posted better-than-expected underlying earnings for the first three months of 2022, at 9.1bn US dollars (£7.2bn) – nearly three times the 3.2bn dollars (£2.5bn) reported a year earlier. On Tuesday (May 3), fellow FTSE 100 firm BP unveiled its highest quarterly underlying profits for more than a decade, at 6.2bn US dollars (£5bn).

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