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Coronavirus: Barking MP slams ‘cruel’ price hikes by businesses

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 April 2020

Barking MP Margaret Hodge is challenging businesses that have hiked prices during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Margaret Hodge's office

Barking MP Margaret Hodge is challenging businesses that have hiked prices during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Margaret Hodge's office

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Businesses that have hiked the price of items such as toilet roll and hand sanitisers have been branded “selfish and exploitative” by Barking’s MP.

Dame Margaret Hodge said she is prepared to “name and shame” companies who have been engaging in the practice.

While most companies have been operating fairly during the coronavirus crisis, there have been reports of some businesses putting up the price of certain items, especially cleaning products and long life food.

Dame Margaret said: “Constituents have been getting in touch with me about a small number of local businesses that have allegedly been scamming customers during the current Covid emergency.

“These businesses have apparently chosen to dramatically hike prices for items that are now in high demand, such as face masks and antibacterial gel.

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“This is a cruel trick that will impact the most vulnerable in our community, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.”

She added: “I am writing to all businesses who face these allegations, giving them the opportunity to refute them.

“But if I am unsatisfied with their response then I will be publicly naming and shaming them.”

The politician said that she had been pleased to see many businesses work alongside faith and community groups to support people across Barking and Dagenham during the pandemic.

She added: “That’s why I am determined we quickly put a stop to the small minority of businesses who are choosing to exploit others for their own gain rather than support our community during these trying times.”


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