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How much for a cheese sandwich? Where to find the cheapest ingredients as Ann Widdecombe’s comments spark backlash

Ann Widdecombe has been branded “out of touch” for suggesting there is no “given right” to low food costs (PA)
Ann Widdecombe has been branded “out of touch” for suggesting there is no “given right” to low food costs (PA)

Ann Widdecombe has argued that families ought to avoid cheese sandwiches if they cannot afford the ingredients.

Despite being informed that people "cannot afford to feed their children" and are forced to make significant sacrifices as the cost of living issue worsens, the former MEP from the Brexit party claimed there is no "given right" for cheap food costs.

On the BBC's Politics Live programme, Widdecombe —who joined the Reform UK party last year— was asked what she would say to people who couldn't afford to pay for necessities like the fixings for a cheese sandwich.

“Well then you don’t do the cheese sandwich,” Widdecombe said.

“None of it’s new. We’ve been through this before. The problem is we’ve been decades now without inflation, we’ve come to regard it as some kind of given right.”

As the problem worsens, the government has been called to step in. According to research, the cost of several meat and vegetable items at supermarkets has nearly doubled in the last year.

The yearly inflation rate for supermarket own-label budget goods increased to 25 per cent in April, according to the consumer advocacy group Which?

What’s the true cost of a cheese sandwich?

BBC research that showed the cost of a homemade cheese sandwich had risen by a third to 40p a serving.

The ingredients in a basic cheese sandwich include bread, cheese and butter.

H W Nevill’s, Tesco’s cheapest white bread costs £0.40p, while a block of medium cheddar cheese costs £2.45 and on average a block of salted butter costs £1.89. In total a cheese sandwich with supplies from Tesco come to £4.74.

Where to find the cheapest ingredients

The most affordable ingredients can be found at budget supermarkets such as Aldi, Lidl and Asda.

According to which.co.uk, the cheapest supermarket in April 2023 was Aldi, where a basket of 39 items averaged £69.99. It outperformed competitor Lidl by 65p.

How did the public react to Widdecombe’s comments?

Many were outraged by Widdecombe’s response.

One user tweeted: “Easy for a millionaire like Ann Widdecombe to tell the rest of us not to buy food that we can’t afford. She’s one of the elite.”

Another user tweeted: “Ann Widdecombe knows that a cheese sandwich is usually the cheapest sandwich, right?”

“Ann Widdecombe is showing a remarkable lack of understanding of the position in which many families find themselves - some empathy wouldn’t go amiss.”

While another person agreed with Widdecombe. One user tweeted: “Ann Widdecombe is RIGHT! If you can’t afford a cheese sandwich, it’s your problem. Do something about it: Grow your own cheese Or get a job as a fruit picker or lorry driver Go back to school & learn more Maths Do something useful & fill in a pothole. Remember it’s YOUR FAULT!”