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No one should be making a profit out of other people’s suffering

No one should be making a profit out of other people’s suffering

My residents and I have been concerned to see and hear stories of mothers unable to find powdered milk for their new-borns, the elderly unable to find packs of toilet roll, the vulnerable unable to find hand sanitizer and gels, and fathers unable to buy baby thermometers for their children.

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The Government has done much to delay the spread of the virus, and to support businesses at this difficult time, but we now must stamp out those who seek to make financial gain out of fear and sickness, says Alexander Stafford MP.

The Prime Minister is right to put us on a war footing to fight COVID-19/ coronavirus. Just like during the War manufactures are turning from what they usually produce to making essential. Instead of pots and pan companies making Spitfires, we find perfume and beer companies making hand gel, whilst car companies are turning their hand to making much needed ventilators. But like in the war, there are those that seek to take advantage of people’s misery and suffering – profiteers. That is why we need emergency legislation, just like we had during the War, to stamp out those who seek to benefit during these times. The spivs of the 1940s have evolved into the ebayers of the 2020s.

My residents and I have been concerned to see and hear stories of mothers unable to find powdered milk for their new-borns, the elderly unable to find packs of toilet roll, the vulnerable unable to find hand sanitizer and gels, and fathers unable to buy baby thermometers for their children. All the while, some have been hoarding supplies of these products, with the aim to sell them on at an inflated price, profiteering from the vulnerable and law-abiding citizens at this time of national crisis. Items that you can’t find in any of the major supermarkets are being resold online for vastly inflated profits. From hand gels that originally cost 99p are now being sold for £24.99 and £15 baby thermometers are now being sold for in excess of £130. These people are making products scarcer to find, and putting the prices out of reach of ordinary families. These black marketeers are directly impact the health and wellbeing of people across the UK.

Such behaviour is not reflective of business acumen; it is predatory, vicious and uncaring. These black-market profiteers need to be stamped out and shown that their actions are not only hurting innocent people, but also go against everything that Britain stands for.

The Government needs to go on a war footing against these profiteers of misery to quickly introduce emergency legislation that will stop such callous and avaricious behaviour, whilst ensuring that those who are most vulnerable in our society get the resources that they need. No one should be making a profit out of other people’s suffering.

The law is straight-forward to change, either by adding this to the proposed Emergency Powers legislation that will be brought forward, or by using a Statutory Instrument to amend Chapter II, section 18 of the Competition Act 1998 to replace “firms” with “individuals. This will ensure that tough action can be taken and sends a clear message out that this sort of action is not acceptable.

The Government has done much to delay the spread of the virus, and to support businesses at this difficult time, but we now must stamp out those who seek to make financial gain out of fear and sickness. These callous individuals are bad for morale, bad for those most at risk and are bad for Britain.

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Read the most recent article written by Alexander Stafford MP - China’s dominance of rare earth metals has left Britain strategically vulnerable

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