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Big retailers offer deals to help with cost-of-living crisis

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Businesses have come up with a number of schemes to help households feeling the squeeze as prices soar.

Asda, Morrisons, Amazon and Vodafone have signed up to offer families deals over the summer holidays as part of the government’s Help for Households campaign.

Supermarket giant Asda confirmed it will extend its ‘Kids eat for £1’ where children aged 16 and under can get a hot or cold meal for £1 from its cafes.

Morrisons will also provide a ‘free’ meal for children at its in-store cafes when a parent buys an adult meal.

Sainsbury’s will run a ‘Feed your family for a fiver’ campaign, helping customers with budget-friendly meal ideas for a family of four for under £5.

Meanwhile, theatres in London will offer ‘free’ child seats to West Ends shows throughout August with a full-paying adult ticket as part of ‘Kids Week’. Additional tickets for up to two other children can be bought at half price.

Telecoms giant Vodafone is also promoting its £10 a month social tariff for low-income households.

And Amazon will provide free entertainment such as Freevee and Amazon Music, as well as educational resources for school-aged children, plus low-price essential groceries.

Offers on the Help for Households campaign page will be added with the above forming the first part over the summer holidays and beyond.

‘Families are feeling the pinch’

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, said: “We’re facing incredibly tough global economic headwinds and families across the country are feeling the pinch.

“That’s why this government is providing an unprecedent £37bn worth of support to help households through the storm.

“Both the public and private sector have a role to play here – and that’s why it’s great to see so many leading UK businesses are now coming forward to offer new deals and discounts that will provide much needed respite at the checkout.

“This won’t solve the issue overnight but it’s yet another weapon in our arsenal as we fight back against scourge of rising prices and inflation.”

Inflation for June reached 9.4% – the highest level in 40 years. The Office for National Statistics also revealed food prices rose 9.8% in the year to June 2022, up from 8.7% in May.

‘Cost of essentials increasing at an alarming rate’

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “Millions of people will be struggling to make ends meet in the coming months, so it’s right that the government is working with businesses to ensure consumers can get value for money when the cost of so many everyday essentials is increasing at an alarming rate.

“Businesses in essential sectors such as supermarkets, energy and telecoms have a particularly important role to play in ensuring help reaches the most financially vulnerable, and making sure the best value deals are easy to access.

“Across the board, transparency of pricing will prove key – so supermarkets should introduce clear unit pricing so that shoppers can easily compare items and find the best value option for them. Similarly, social tariffs should be better advertised, as within the broadband sector less than two per cent of eligible customers are currently enrolled on social tariffs, which is nowhere near good enough.

“The government and regulators must also ensure people can rely on robust consumer protections during this cost-of-living crisis, in order to prevent exploitation by unscrupulous businesses.”

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