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Thread: Food costs set to ease

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    Thumbs up Food costs set to ease

    Relief on way as record food costs set to ease
    5:00AM Tuesday August 26, 2008
    By Simon Collins

    Food prices have hit another record, but there are signs that the pain for cash-stretched families may ease in the next few months.

    Wet weather pushed up prices for winter vegetables such as lettuce and cucumber by around 30 per cent last month, lifting the food price index a further 0.6 per cent above June's record.

    But the increase from the same time last year was less than the increase over the year to June - a sign that lower world commodity prices are finally starting to feed through to local supermarket checkouts.

    The pain for families will ease further in just over a month when tax cuts and a 5.2 per cent increase in family tax credits drop into parents' bank accounts from October 1.

    Doctors and budget advisers in low-income areas say the record prices are driving some families to stop eating healthy food such as lettuce.

    Dr Nikki Turner, a part-time physician at the Auckland City Mission, said it was "a huge challenge" for people on low incomes to eat healthily at current prices.

    More here.
    Mother Bear

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    Additional to the above....

    Kiwis cheer up and raise glasses to cheaper wine
    But cheese, butter left off shopping list
    The Dominion Post | Tuesday, 26 August 2008

    Whining about food prices? At least one thing has gone down - the cost of a tipple.

    Researchers at Lincoln University are advising people to cheer up after they found a significant drop in the price of wine.

    The head of marketing for Lincoln, Associate Professor Charles Lamb, said Kiwis paid an average $14.60 for an "everyday" bottle of wine - down from $17 a decade ago.

    Spending on "special occasion" wines had dropped from $25 to $21.60 during the same period.

    The proportion of adult wine-drinkers remains steady at about 70 per cent, but this group is drinking more.

    Professor Lamb said more than half of the 600 people surveyed drank wine at least three days a week.

    Nearly two-thirds of Kiwi drinkers said they preferred New Zealand wines.

    However, shoppers are turning away from cheddar cheese and butter as food prices continue to rise.

    The latest food price index figures, issued by Statistics New Zealand yesterday, show food prices climbed by 7.6 per cent in the year to July.

    The biggest individual contributors to the increase were cheddar cheese, up 59.3 per cent, butter (89.4 per cent), bread (19.6 per cent), fresh milk (10.2 per cent) and ready-to-eat food (7.3 per cent).

    Chris Pike, Statistics New Zealand prices unit acting manager, said sales volumes for cheddar cheese and butter had dropped by about 10 per cent. However, shoppers had bought about 2 per cent more margarine.

    Food prices rose 0.6 per cent in July, pushed up by higher vegetable prices. The biggest rise was for lettuce, up 32.4 per cent in the month. Cucumber prices rose 27.9 per cent.

    Poor weather has damaged vegetable crops and industry experts predict prices will continue to rise.

    But prices of meat, poultry and fish dropped by 1 per cent in July.

    Overall, the July monthly increase for food was slightly smaller than for the previous two months and the annual food price rise to July was slightly lower than the year to June.

    A snapshot of household food spending issued by Statistics New Zealand showed about $21 of every $100 spent on food went on eating out or takeaways.

    Another $38 went on grocery foods, $17 on meat, poultry and fish, $14 on fruit and vegetables and $10 on non-alcoholic beverages such as soft drinks and bottled water.

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    Question Ressesion in NZ ?

    Hiya just read your message regaurding food prices , ive heard NZis in a ressesion do you know if this is true ?

    Regaurds Cradley.

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    Yes, but then they say that about the UK as well. The media is reporting that the recession will only be a short one, so we'll have to wait and see .
    Mother Bear

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    Weekly bill for life's necessities rises $36
    4:00AM Friday August 29, 2008
    By Juliet Rowan

    The average household is spending almost $40 a week more than last year on necessities, including food, housing and petrol.

    An ASB report, "Strapped for Cash", shows that despite a $200 rise in the average household income in the year to June, households feel no better off. This is because high prices for essential items, particularly food and fuel, chewed up most of the extra money people took home in their pay.

    "Fuel prices were on a constant increase and supermarket discount dockets only got you the previous week's advertised fuel price," the report said. "Then dairy prices started to climb, with the staple student diet of cheese sandwiches becoming a luxury food."

    High mortgage rates added to the pressure, making it a year when many households felt "extreme financial strain" and consumer confidence took a sharp dive.

    Spending on necessities, including food, housing and petrol, rose 9.8 per cent, or almost $40 a week, and inflation on those items was up 7.4 per cent.

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    Mother Bear

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    Some relief on food front after huge hike
    4:00AM Friday Sep 12, 2008
    By Eloise Gibson

    Food shoppers have swallowed the biggest monthly price hike in 19 years, but buying the basics is about to get a little bit cheaper.

    August delivered the sharpest monthly jump in food prices in almost 30 years, not counting GST.

    Wet weather pushed the price of vegetables up about 14 per cent, with salad staples lettuce and tomatoes costing a third more than they did a month earlier.

    But families who are stretching their budgets just to buy the basics should find things a little easier when summer arrives.

    The food price index rose 10.6 per cent in the year to August, the steepest climb since 1990.

    The surge has been more painful for shoppers because the foods making the biggest jumps are those hardest to do without - bread, vegetables and dairy products.

    Now suppliers say bread and vegetables should get cheaper this summer, and milk and butter look set to level off too.

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    Mother Bear

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    Petition starts to stop GST on food
    Saturday, 20 September 2008

    A petition to remove goods and services tax (GST) from food is starting in Northland today.

    Organiser Grant Morgan will work down the country from Kaitaia to Wellington asking people to sign the petition after polls showed 80 per cent of people wanted food to be free of GST.

    He said when Finance Minister Michael Cullen was approached twice to debate the issue publicly, he ignored them.

    Both the Labour Government and National had shown an "extreme disinterest" in removing the tax from food.

    "They have more or less said it doesn't matter how many signatures we collect, they are going to ignore the result."

    Mr Morgan said from Kaitaia today, where they began collecting signatures, that both Labour and National were full of "spin" when they said it was logistically too hard to remove the tax.

    He said it was heartbreaking to hear stories of people having to choose between food and medicine, or food and the rent, as food prices continued to rise in supermarkets.

    "We are hearing from people everywhere who feel it is immoral for food to be taxed. One Maori woman in Mangere said taxing food is like taxing the air we breathe so there is very strong feelings about it."

    He said New Zealand was only one of a "tiny handful" of countries in the world which taxed food.

    Experts had told him that removing the tax involved reprogramming computers and was quite easy.

    The petition organisers were due to be in 16 North Island centres before handing the petition to the Maori Party in front on the steps of Parliament on October 3.

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    Mother Bear

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