Food price increases hit Southlanders hard

No wonder Southlanders are struggling at the supermarket with annual February food prices recording the largest increase in over a decade, Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds says.

“According to Stats NZ food prices rose 6.8 percent in February, the largest annual increase since July 2011.

“Fruit and vegetables went up a whopping 17 percent compared to February 2021, meat and chicken was up by 7.1 percent and general groceries by 5.4 percent.

“Goodness knows how families are feeding their kids at the moment, particularly with essentials like fruit and vegetables being so pricey.

“Inflation is at a thirty year high, with other necessities like petrol and housing costs all going through the roof.

“This means many people are just scraping by from week to week and it’s virtually impossible for families to get ahead – they’re just working to survive.

“We also can’t blame vegetable growers for the massive price increases – with many of them saying energy, wage, transport and Government audit costs are pushing them to the brink.

“It’s also gauling that the Government is doing nothing to ease these costs.

“At the upcoming Budget the Finance Minister should adjust the bottom three income tax thresholds to account for the inflation we’ve seen in the past four years under Labour.

“These tax cuts would ease the current cost of living crisis and make things a little easier for Southern families in need.”