Price hike is more than VAT

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Retailers have hiked their prices more than the increased rate of VAT, a study has shown.

Price compare organisation, Sccope, surveyed up to 860,000 items on shelves, and found one in five retailers had increased their prices more than the rate of VAT.

On average the rise was 3.5 per cent, and retailers which have implemented the increase include high street regulars Argos, Robert Dyas and WH Smith, as well as Homebase.

But around 55 per cent of retailers have frozen their prices, keeping them to pre-VAT increase levels.

They include John Lewis, Wilkinsons, Mothercare and HMV.

And another quarter raised their prices by only 1.1 per cent.

A Sccope spokesman said: 'Retailers are having to keep prices down to try and sell products that they expected to go before Christmas.'