Díaz secretly negotiates with the supermarkets the promised ‘low cost’ shopping basket
Yolanda Diaz is working discreetly to try to find solutions to one of the main problems that the inflationary crisis is implying: the increase in food prices and, therefore, the difficulties that the most vulnerable families are going through in order to cope with the food basket. purchase. The second vice president of the Government is leading an initiative that, for the moment, is not having a positive response from the large distribution chains, but sources from her team who are aware of the silent contacts that she is having with the managers of the supermarkets reveal that These rapprochements are taking place and they trust that they will be able to reach an agreement soon.
So far, neither Mercadonaneither Dayneither To field they have wanted to join general initiatives to offer a package of basic products at a low price. The only brand that did so was Carrefour, which last September, before meeting with the vice president, decided to put 30 products on sale for 30 euros. Although the initiative was not without controversy, since in that shopping basket low cost not all the food was healthy and fresh, a priority objective of both Díaz and the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzon. Some local businesses, for their part, have offered discounts on basic food.
Díaz’s objective is to explore an agreement in the private sphere with supermarkets and hypermarkets so that they reduce basic foods in a time of emergency. Dairy, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish… The second vice president and her team maintain contacts with the big brands to try to close an agreement before the end of the year, explain the government sources consulted by La Información. The intention is to call the employers to a new meeting in December, to give a last ‘coup de effect’ in 2022, before the elections.
In any case, it will not be an easy task for Díaz. The distribution considers that this is not the time to offer discounted baskets and that the Government has instruments to act on the purchase of the most vulnerable families. From the sector they point, in this sense, to a reduction of the VAT of basic products as the most direct and effective measure. Yes ok Maria Jesus MonteroMinister of Finance, has never referred to this possibility so far, and the Government has shown on successive occasions that it is not considering tax cuts in the configuration of the roadmap to appease the escalation of prices.
In the Government there is a feeling that, despite the fact that the price of food has skyrocketed due to production and transport costs, the large distribution companies are maintaining or even increasing their profit margins. They believe in the Executive that it would be time for them to pitch in, as sources familiar with the matter assure this medium. mood from Moncloa. And the ‘ringleader’ of this initiative is, as he demonstrated from the outset, Yolanda Diaz.
One possibility that has been contemplated by members of the Government, in private conversations, is to imitate Portugal and establish a tax on distribution chains. The Treasury has not communicated it in public either, but in a part of the Executive it is not an option to be ruled out. You have to remember that the Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (Fedea) He has precisely proposed extending the tax on banks, energy companies and large fortunes to all companies with benefits, an approach that could be the starting point.
The shopping basket, with increases of more than 15% in the annual rate in some basic foods, more than double the average set by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) determined by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), is for Yolanda Díaz one of the main problems for the most needy families, along with mortgages and housing rentals. In the last acts of her political project, Sumar, she has mentioned it effusively, even citing her daughter Carmela, to denounce that the feeding of children cannot be diminished by a price problem. It is a fight that she has as her flag and she wants to win -as her trusted team sources insist- hopefully, before the end of the year.
The Government has not yet specified what the next anti-inflation decree will be like. It must be remembered that the measures in force expire on December 31 and, at this time, the Ministry of Finance has already confirmed that it will extend the free Cercanías and Media Distancia services, the 15% increase in non-contributory pensions and the cap from 2% to the increase in rents. But the new taxes that passed the procedure in the Congress of Deputies this Thursday are finalists and Montero now has to specify what he dedicates his collection to. It will be measures focused on the most needy and not generic, such as the fuel discount, according to government sources. Díaz, for his part, will continue to strive to reach an agreement with the distributors.
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