National | Budget

Kiwis forking out even more to put food on the table - Simon Bridges

Monthly food costs rose 2.7%  across the motu in January, which will hit whānau at the checkout.

And National MP Simon Bridges says many Kiwis will be dreading going shopping.

Stats NZ's food price inflation figures for January show the highest monthly rise in five years since January 2017, when prices rose 2.8% in a month.

After removing regular seasonal impacts, food prices rose 1.1%. Fruit prices were up 2.7%, and vegetable prices were up 5.9%.

“Food prices often increase in January,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said. “However, prices increased by more than usual this January.”

January for the last two years (2021 and 2020) saw monthly food prices rise 1.3% and 2.1% respectively, both before removing seasonality impacts.

This January saw higher fruit and vegetable prices the main contributor to the monthly rise, at 9.9%. Food items including broccoli, lettuce, apples, kiwifruit and strawberries had higher prices.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 3.6%., grocery foods prices rose 1.6%, non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 2.3% and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.3%

The widespread nature of the price rises was also shown by 76% of all items increasing in price in January.

Bridges' view

National finance spokesperson Simon Bridges says these latest figures on food prices show  New Zealanders are getting poorer under the Labour government because of the latest figures on food prices.

“Kiwis are having to fork out even more just to put food on the table. With pay packets failing to keep up, many New Zealanders will be dreading the grocery shopping," Bridges says.

“This is the highest annual food price increase in a decade. There is no doubt Kiwis are going backwards under this government and it’s those on the lowest incomes who are disproportionately doing it tough.

“In the last quarter, domestic inflation grew faster than the international components did. Most of the country’s economists have warned of the significance of home-grown factors in our inflation and that high inflation is likely to be more long-lasting than originally thought," Bridges says.

“The government should listen and bring its spending under control so New Zealanders don’t keep falling further and further behind.”