Letter from the editor: i represents outstanding value

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The Independent Online

Matters of economic import were very much the order of the day yesterday. But, for i reader John O’Regan, it was the micro rather than macro that took his interest.

He was very attracted by our advertisement offering a year’s subscription to this newspaper for just £35 (see page 39). Mr O’Regan, who has eyes like a goshawk ( see yesterday’s letter), noticed that the advert “is accompanied by a picture of an attractive shop assistant handing some lucky punter their daily copy of i.”

He generously says that i offers great value for money, “but this is topped by the sign in the background of said picture with the offer of tinned tomatoes for 24p. Now that is what I call value,” he adds. “They’re a pound a tin round my way. Please tell me where this shop is and do they deliver tinned tomatoes with the papers!”

The truth is that the shop doesn’t exist: the picture was a still from our recent TV ad, and what you are seeing is a stage set.

Nevertheless, it appears, Mr O’Regan, that you’re overpaying for your tomatoes. We managed to find one supermarket where their own brand sells for 31p. They also sell i, which may not be quite as useful if you’re making spaghetti pomodoro but represents even more outstanding value.

More weighty fiscal matters are discussed on pages 4-8 today. Some of us yesterday were a little wistful for the days when we listened to the Budget with rapt attention, waiting for the shocks, the surprise announcements and the fancy footwork. Now, the big day is preceded by a series of leaks and briefings which makes you think that, by the time the Chancellor starts speaking, you’ve heard it all before. So there is a premium today on interpretation and commentary. At i, we are lucky to be able to turn to one of the world’s leading economic analysts, our in-house guru Hamish McRae. His Budget statement is on pages 4-5. We commend it to you.