GST only one factor in price


From Napier MP Chris Tremain’s Facebook page:

I went fresh vegetable shopping over the weekend to compare prices. Here at a market garden I purchased a pumpkin for $3, a head of broccoli for $1.79, and a cabbage for $1.69. Just down the road at the supermarket the same vegetables were over $6, $3.49, and $3.99 respectively. On one day and without seasonal variation over 100% difference in the price. So consumers have a choice to buy cheap fresh vegetables now, 100% cheaper. Do you really think removing GST from these products will make a difference?

All sorts of things impact on the price of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Taking GST off fresh produce won’t necessarily reduce the price by 15%. Seasonal availability, weather and how much of a mark-up retailers choose to charge could just as easily increase the price by that amount or more.

Meat up veg down


There was a very small decrease in food prices  in October, the first time there hadn’t been a monthly increase in more than a year.


Food prices overall decreased by 0.3% last month.

Fruit and vegetables decreased by 6% helped by a 50.7% drop in the price of lettuce and a 24.9% fall in the price of tomatoes. However, these were offset by a 20.6% increase in the price of potatoes.

Vegetarians were better off than meat eaters because, the price of meat poultry and fish increased by 2.4%. Beef prices rose 5.4% and prepared meat and smallgoods icnreased by 6%.

The lower price of international dairy products filtered through tot he supermarket with a 4% decrease int he price of cheese. However, bread was 3.2% more expensive and grocery food as a whole increased by .6%.

Food prices increased 9.9% in the year to October.

Grocery prices increased 11.9% , meat, poultry and fish prices rose 11.0%, fruit and vegetable went up 12.5%, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food increased 6.4%, and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 4.7%.

Within these subgroups the price of chedder cheese went up 39.2% and potatoes increased in price by 41.7%.

These figures explain why gardening shops report increased sales of vegetable seeds and plants, although from my experience of vegetable gardening – which is admitedly haphazard – growing your own isn’t necessarily cheaper.

Home grown vegetables definitely taste better and it’s lovely to be able to pop outside and pick a good part of a meal.

But by the time I take account the cost of seeds and plants, tools bought then replaced because they go out on the farm never to be seen again, hoses and sprinklers which do the same thing, the fence to keep the rabbits out and the failures I’m not sure that I’m saving any money.

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