Household spend on Brexit stockpiling already tops £4 billion, research reveals

PUBLISHED: 09:19 12 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:35 16 August 2019

Our Future, Our Choice help with the no-deal stockpiling efforts. Photograph: OFOC/Twitter

Our Future, Our Choice help with the no-deal stockpiling efforts. Photograph: OFOC/Twitter

OFOC/Twitter

New research has suggested that households have already spent £4 billion on stockpiling goods in preparation for Brexit.

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But that figure is down by £600 million when compared to research carried out before March 29th - Theresa May's original Brexit deadline.

According to a survey by finance provider Premium Credit, one in five of us has started hoarding food, drinks and medicine, spending around £380 each.

The survey also found that around 800,000 people have spent more than £1,000 on stockpiling, ahead of the October 31 deadline.

Similar research in the weeks leading up to the original deadline for the UK to leave the EU found that around 17% of the country spent £4.6 billion stockpiling ahead of March 31.

Of those stockpiling, 74% surveyed said they have done this with food, 50% for medicine for themselves, 46% are holding spare drinks and 43% have bought extra medicine for other family members.

Brexit-related stockpiling is also hitting cashflow, according to the report, with companies taking out credit to cover the cost of insurance and other fixed costs.

The research also found that 48% of workers said their bosses had stockpiled ahead of the March 29th deadline, but half have started to shift goods. Only 25% said they have maintained their stockpile levels.

Just one in 10 respondents said their bosses are currently stockpiling new goods.

But independent fact checker Full Fact disputed the figures claiming it was an "overestimation" due to "flaws in the survey methodology".

"This is because, in extrapolating the survey findings to work out the total amount stockpiled, the company used the total number of UK adults rather than the total number of households (52 million vs 28 million).

"However, it's likely respondents provided answers based on the cost of food stockpiled in their household, rather than working out their individual share. If even a minority of respondents reported a household figure, the extrapolation could have considerably overestimated the total amount."

Several retailers have already said they have started stockpiling to ensure there are enough goods that can only be sourced overseas available on shelves.

Last week, the boss of Pets At Home revealed the business is hoarding pet food, and Domino's Pizza said it has started stockpiling toppings.

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