Greedy sellers hike price of cough medicine by 10% in 2 weeks as shops cash in on coronavirus

GREEDY sellers have hiked the price of cough medicine by 10 per cent in a fortnight as shops cashed in on the coronavirus crisis.

The price of paracetamol, pet food, nappies and anti-bacterial hand wipes also soared amid the scramble to stockpile.

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The Office for National Statistics, which put out the alarming numbers, also warned the deadly virus is already hammering business.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of businesses surveyed said their profits have slumped because of the lockdown.

While over half (56 per cent) said they have cut or furloughed staff or slashed their hours because of the crisis.

Furious MPs tore into greedy sellers for profiteering from a catastrophe.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman blasted: “Nobody should be seeking to profiteer from this pandemic and we will need to pull together through this incredibly difficult time.”

Tory MP Alex Stafford fumed: “People should not be penalised for getting the medicines they need.

“We shouldn’t just be pushing medicines into the hands of rich people.

“Shops have a moral duty to ensure prices are stable.

“I have seen big price increases myself.

“I have seen a 75ml bottle of hand sanitizer on sale for £24, and when I went out looking for a baby thermometer the other day I saw one being sold by a private seller for £150.

“It is not right for people to make huge profits out of others misfortune.”

He called for the big shops, including Boots, Superdrug and the supermarkets, to agree to keep their prices down during the Covid-19 crisis.

Analysis of prices by the ONS found cough medicine had rocketed 10.7 per cent between March 9 and March 22.

Pet food was up 3.1 per cent and paracetamol by 2.8 per cent.

Nappies and rice were both nearly 2 per cent higher.

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