SDLP Economy Spokesperson Sinéad McLaughlin MLA has said that a reduction in the cost of baby formula for retailers must be passed on to consumers.
Manufacturer Danone has announced that they will reduce prices on the majority of its Aptamil range by 7%.
Ms McLaughlin has contacted major supermarkets in the North asking them to implement the change.
Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:
“No household has escaped pressure from the rise of inflation in recent years. However, any family that has welcomed a new baby will also know the huge strain on budgets that has been created by the stark increase in the cost of baby formula.
“Formula is incredibly important for a baby’s health and many families simply can’t do without it. We have a duty to ensure that the costs for products like this are not prohibitive. Reports that shops had noticed an increase in formula being stolen shows just how deep this problem runs and how desperate some parents have felt over the need to provide for their child.
“I welcome this move by Danone to reduce the price of formula, but acknowledge that the product will still be a significant cost for many families. It’s imperative that this reduction is immediately passed on by retailers to consumers to make formula more affordable.
“Following Danone’s announcement, I have contacted our major supermarkets to ask them to implement the reduction as soon as possible. I would also encourage them to join calls for the government to review Healthy Start vouchers to support families who have welcomed new babies. I appreciate that some retailers have already committed to an immediate reduction and others must follow suit so that this essential product is made more affordable for families across the North.”