Telegraph – Government panel to keep food prices down

The new Council of Food Policy Advisors, chaired by Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Charity Commission, will advise on food distribution and consumption as well as pricing.

Food shopping bills rose at their fastest rate since records began last year, with bread, rice, pasta and meat all going up by well over the rate of inflation.

And this is before the impact of the falling pound on food imports. This looks awfully like the road to price controls: price controls do not work [1, 2] and they never have:

In 284 A.D. the Roman emperor Diocletian created inflation by placing too much money in circulation, and then “fixed the maximum prices at which beef, grain, eggs, clothing and other articles could be sold, and prescribed the penalty of death for anyone who disposed of his wares at a higher figure.” The results, as Schuettinger and Butler explain, quoting an ancient historian, were that “the people brought provisions no more to markets, since they could not get a reasonable price for them and this increased the dearth so much, that at last after many had died by it, the law itself was set aside.”

Much better to let farmers get on with it.

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