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No relief in sight for householders

Bill English National Finance Spokesman

13 September 2001

No relief in sight for householders, as food prices reach record highs

It's "all pain and no gain" for householders, as they face continuing rampant inflation in their grocery bills, National's Finance spokesman Bill English said today.

Statistics released today show food prices leapt by 0.5% in August, following a 0.3% increase in July.

"Food prices are now 6.3% higher than a year ago, and nearly 9% higher than December 1999. That reflects a dismal performance by the Government - which has done nothing to arrest big food price increases, and in fact has done nothing which even attempts to achieve that aim.

"In the past year fruit and veggie prices have increased by 12.5%, while meat, fish and poultry prices have increased 11.9%. For household budgets which are under pressure that means healthy foods are the first to go.

"The annual food price increase of 6.3% is the largest since June 1990, in other words, the biggest food price increase for more than a decade! And that previous high occurred due to a one-off increase in GST!

"Food is the most basic necessity, and the families which are suffering the most because of the 8.8% increase in food prices since Labour came to office are those on low and fixed-incomes.

"Those people are now getting fewer services in health and education, while paying more for basic items like food, petrol, electricity and travel.

"This Government has failed the people it promised to represent," Bill English said.


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