John Allan said customers were asking checkout staff to stop scanning items once their bill hit a certain amount, something he had not witnessed ‘in years’. This comes as households continue to battle against price hikes.
Speaking on Radio 4 Today’s show, Mr Allan said there is an “overwhelming need” for a windfall tax on energy companies after seeing supermarket customers struggling, reports Manchester Evening News.
He said: “I was hearing for the first time for many years of customers saying to check out staff, ‘stop when you get to £40,’ or something, ‘I don’t want to spend a penny over that.’ You know, as opposed to having everything checked out and settling the bill at the end.
“So I think a lot of people are feeling something of a pinch and lots of people are actually feeling extremely stretched.”
Asked what he would like to see in the Queen’s Speech, John said: “First of all, I think action to help people cope with a very, very sharp increase in energy prices.
“It’s harder for people to mitigate energy than it is with food, and I think there’s an overwhelming case for a windfall tax on profits from those energy producers fed back to those most in need of help with energy prices.
“I think that would be the single biggest thing that could be done.”
He added that he thinks energy companies are “expecting it” and doubts “they would actually be much fazed by it”.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats have also called for a windfall tax on oil and gas firms to help ease the cost-of-living crisis.
Last week, Shell revealed record first-quarter profits thanks to soaring oil and gas prices, just days after bumper earnings from rival BP.
The oil giant posted better-than-expected underlying earnings for the first three months of 2022, at 9.1 billion US dollars (£7.2 billion) – nearly three times the 3.2 billion dollars (£2.5 billion) reported a year earlier.
On Tuesday (3 May), fellow FTSE 100 firm BP unveiled its highest quarterly underlying profits for more than a decade, at 6.2 billion US dollars (£5 billion).