Today Jamie Stone, MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, has joined a cross-party campaign for the UK Government to take more drastic action to discourage stockpiling.
The letter, composed by Abena Oppong Asare MP, asks the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to implement the following measures:
- Provide reinforcements for supermarkets nationwide to prevent people from overbuying food and essential items
- Centrally reduce opening hours for supermarkets to give staff sufficient time to restock during the crisis
- Introduce government-mandated hours of shopping specifically for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions who are most at risk from contracting COVID-19
- Limit the quantity of staple goods and essential items people are permitted to buy during the crisis
- Ask the Prime Minister to address shopping habits directly in his daily press
After signing the letter, Mr Stone said:
"Many of us are rightfully concerned about some people panic buying and stockpiling. It disadvantages the vulnerable and our most important key workers, namely the elderly and NHS staff who need to buy groceries and essentials after working very tough shifts.
"I am pleased to join this cross-party effort to address the growing crisis in our shops. Many supermarkets have already implemented measures to address stockpiling, which I welcome, but the Conservative Government must enforce these measures from the top."
"Another way we can avoid disrupting the supermarket shelves is to support our local small businesses. This is something I have always advocated but this crisis makes it more important than ever.
"Many shops in the Highlands are now running delivery services to encourage social distancing - this is a service that I would encourage more shops, big or small, to start doing.
"We must pull together and do all we can to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are still getting bread on the table."