It’s a false economy

This week I went into Aldi UK and Lidl GB as I do quite often and I noticed the price of the face mask, I actually could not believe my eye’s when I saw that Lidl was charging £7.99 for a packet of 10 disposable face mask. I get that they are a business and I agree that businesses are there to make money but…. come on Lidl’s supermarkets are situated in places where people, families who manage on very little have another added cost to budget for facemasks.


2 litres Milk £1.00

Cereal 85p

Eggs £1.50

2 loaves £1.00

Toilet rolls £1.00

1 bag sugar £1.00

Pasta 31p

Pasta sauce 50p

Onion 75p

Total £7.91

Here is where the false economy comes in.

Because people, families have to wear masks that they may now have to choose whether they buy that loaf of bread, milk, pasta etc or they protect their families from the virus?!?!

So what happens when they may not have the money as a result that person has no other option but to steal to protect their family?

What would happen if it is a mother who happens to be single and has been caught, has previous convictions for shoplifting? the chances are she will end up in prison losing her home and her children, now that comes at a price to the government ( taxpayer), let’s look at that.

Let’s say Julie is a single mother with 2 children, Julie has been caught shoplifting before to feed her family.

12 weeks imprisonment £9596.25

Let’s say Julie children get taken into care as a result in this process costing £34,500 for 12 weeks.

Let’s say Julie then loses her home as a result of the fact that her housing benefit entitlement gets stopped as a result of being sent to prison. The prison is now claiming for her accommodation cost.

When Julie is released from prison, Juile now is a single person.

Let’s say Julie has no family, as a result, has to go into a hostel, while she sorts out a home for her and her children that she still now has to show she is fit enough to look after her child. The cost of her hostel accommodation is £808 per month. Julies children’s in care cost £3538.46 every month Julies children are in care. This is if they get put into a foster placement and not a children’s home where they could be shipped to a children’s home which could cost LA £1000's.

So Julie who was trying to protect her children by stealing a £7.99 pack of face masks ( and maybe a few other bits) has now cost the government ( Taxpayer) somewhere in the region £100,000, this will not include, police time, social workers time and another hidden cost.

The point is everyone has a part to play in the helping of vulnerable people/ families and in this case, its the supermarkets, my ask is yeah we get you to want to make money, your a business and that’s ok, but think about some products and who has to be able to access them and the implications of high prices that are not within their reach. More to the point should this not be free? I mean look at the cost implementations, if not.