Industry responds to GST proposal

Industry responds to GST proposal

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced that the government will remove GST from fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables from April 1 next year, if the Labour Party is re-elected in October.

He says this would save families around $18 a month and that the government will task the newly appointed Grocery Commissioner with ensuring supermarkets and other grocery outlets are not profiting from the change and to make sure the actual cost benefits are passed on to New Zealanders.

FMCG Business asked local industry members for their thoughts on the proposal.

Richard Burke, CEO LeaderBrand
Richard Burke, CEO LeaderBrand

Richard Burke, CEO LeaderBrand comments: “We know how important fresh fruit and veggies are to the health of Kiwis.

“We’re an advocate for anything that helps to make fresh cheaper, as long as it is economically sound, and that it doesn’t drive up the cost with expensive compliance or additional costs for both the grower and the retailer.

“The most important result is for the savings to be passed onto everyday Kiwis looking for healthy food.”

The United Fresh team said it “supports initiatives that increase the access to and consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. While removing GST from fresh fruit and vegetables may be one way to improve access, United Fresh continues to support a more targeted approach.

“Expanding the Fruit in Schools (FIS) initiative to include further schools/kura and introducing FIS to early childhood education centres, would ensure tamariki in high need areas have access to fresh fruit and vegetables.”

The Foodstuffs North Island team said: “With food cost and price inflation still high, our 520 grocers are focused on buying well and running their businesses as efficiently as possible to ensure the supply of fresh food and groceries for all New Zealanders and delivering value for customers at the checkout.

“What any future Government can do to help is make it easy to do business in New Zealand by ensuring there’s a workable regulatory environment that enables agility and efficiency, doesn’t add cost, and invest in national infrastructure to support productivity and resilience.”

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