Why we might soon be saying goodbye to cheap fresh fruit and veg…. 175



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Fresh fruit and veg may be about to get a whole lot more expensive… and it has nothing to do with farmers.

It has been revealed today by the Parliamentary Budget Office that if the GST is increased to 15 per cent and the GST exemptions on fresh food scrapped, it would raise more than $7 billion.

This is not good news for the people doing it the toughest in our country, particularly low income earners and pensioners.

The independent office has modelled a range of scenarios, from removing the GST-free status of basic food through to applying a 15 per cent tax to a much broader range of exempt categories.

It estimated that the changes could raise between $7.2 billion and $65.8 billion in 2017-18, before compensation is provided to the poorest 40 per cent of households.

“In the absence of compensation arrangements targeting lower income households, each of the scenarios analysed would have a greater relative impact on lower income earners,” the PBO report said.

According to the ABC, the analysis found for financial year 2017-18:

  • Applying a 10 per cent GST to basic food would raise an extra $7.2 billion ($4.8 billion after compensation)
  • Applying a 10 per cent GST to basic food, health, medical care, education, child care, water and sewerage would raise an extra $21.6 billion ($16 billion after compensation)
  • Increasing the GST to 15 per cent without expanding the base would raise an extra $32.5 billion ($24.6 billion after compensation)
  • Increasing the GST to 15 per cent and applying it to basic food would raise $42.7 billion ($31.4 billion after compensation)
  • Increasing the GST to 15 per cent and applying it to basic food, health, medical care, education, child care, water and sewerage would raise an extra $65.8 billion ($49.3 billion after compensation).

It’s a hard pill to swallow considering we have been told that prices will stay low on our everyday needs. The GST increase is worrying many and speculation is still rife about when it will happen, not if it will.


Tell us, would a tax on fresh food have a big impact on your life? Do you think you’ll be properly compensated for the removal of the GST exemption?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. We have an obesity problem in this country. Perhaps a higher tax on junk food/ sugary drinks may be a better idea.

  2. We don’t have ” cheap ” fresh fruit & vegies now

    12 REPLY
    • I don’t know how you can say we don’t have cheap fruit and vegies now, we do if you keep away from the large supermarkets. Two weeks ago at a local greengrocer, Celery 99cents a bunch, Rockmelon 99 cents each,large Cabbage 99 cents each, 1 kg onions 69 cents, 1 kg Potatoes 49 cents. This was at Victoria Point Fruit Market if you don’t believe and want to check.

    • good on you Owen but many of us don’t live in Victoria, it would cost us more in fuel to drive there. No one begrudges you a good buy, but those markets are not available to all of us

    • Further to my previous post, there are 4 items (in add) at local greengrocer, total cost $5.47 , at Woolworths same 4 items $21.91.. Where would you rather shop ?

    • we are not all driving to Victoria Owen, Australia is a huge country and people posting on here come from all over Aus

    • Surely there are Greengrocers in all areas that have these weekly specials, Wherever I have lived there always have been, the trouble is people only want to shop in one place for everything and for the sake of convenience and don’t mind paying an extra $16.44 in Woolworths or Coles for 4 items as shown above.

    • I thought he meant Victoria too, I live 100klm north of Sydney, I can buy fresh fruit and vegies cheaper in Sydney that I can where I live but by the time I add fuel to the cost, it is not worth the drive and I sure would not be driving to Queensland to buy celery 😜

  3. Seems to me that the LNP is hell bent on getting the 15% on everything through. Whatever “compensation” for those on low incomes/pensions, this is an aggressive and regressive tax that will hit those families hard. But it is so easy to bring it in. No hard work like going after those big corporations and really wealthy folk who at present pay bugger all tax.

    9 REPLY
    • All sides of Government are quite happy to raise the GST to 15% it is just a matter of who has the guts to do it.

    • you are wrong Rod Angell, this Liberal Government is goading the states to agree to a rise in the GST but so far not all are coming to the party and the ALP will not sign off on it untill it know low income people will be compensated and according to Morrison yesterday there will be no fortnightly compensation they will just adjust the CPI rise. The same rise they wanted to cut. So in other words you will probably get an extra $10 per year

    • Malcolm Turnbull wants to increase the GST meaning we will all pay more for the things we buy every day.
      But increasing the GST just doesn’t make sense: NATSEM modelling shows an increase in the GST would see those least able to afford it pay the biggest share of their incomes in GST.
      In fact, it will hit Australian households by up to $4000 a year! How can increasing the price of everything be a) fair? or b) good for our economy? The ALP HAS A PETITION AGAINST THE RISE GO HERE TO SIGN http://www.noincreasetothegst.com.au/

    • Libbi Elliot I saw this morning poor Turnbull is to get a $10,000 pay rise ,the rich just keep on getting richer .

    • omg Evelyn that is an obscenity, bet he gets another rise when the GST goes up.. how can they justify a rise like that ?

    • Libbi Elliot – and this would hit self-funded retirees even harder as they get no pension and thus no cpi increase.

  4. so raising GST and taxing fresh now,not surprised,then they sneer at low income earners for not eating healthy

  5. The majority will spend less money because they can’t afford it so there will be less tax raised. Defeats the purpose

  6. Just think if John Howard had not introduced the GST we would still be paying between 25 and 30% in Sales Tax as it was known.

    1 REPLY
    • On some goods only and not on services. Still a luxury tax of 30% on a cheap ball point pen didn’t really worry me. 15% on basic fresh foods, kids education and medical treatment does more than worry me, it horrifies me.

  7. I read that yesterday and water and sewerage are to be included too and I listened to an interview with Scott Morrison, he said there would be NO huge amounts of compensation for pensioners and those on a benefit , it would be adjusted in the CPI rise..the same rise they wanted to cut.. keep alert on this because this will affect all of us

  8. Why food? There is enough people out there struggling as it is. Add it to hobbies etc. I would rather pay a bit extra on my fabric etc than see it harder for those who are finding it hard already.

  9. There is no such tax and it won’t be implemented; stop scare mongering.None
    Of us would like it!

    4 REPLY
    • Please keep alert on this issue , I do not know about free to air tv but Scott Morrison gave an interview on this yesterday on Foxtel and I am afraid this is something they want to implement

    • The next federal election is going to be based around this and many more others issue. You home to subside your pension a rise in Medicare along with education and so on. Mark my words over the past three years they have stripped a lot of funding from vital services and come the next few months they will be seen as being generous to the people by giving a pittance of it back. This is to brainwash the people into a false feeling of being looked after by the liberals. And if you fall for it then you will be to blame for all the atrocities they will force into us after the election.

    • Pam Walker
      I don’t know where you have been hiding, but we have had a GST for well over 20 years. Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison and many other politicans have been talking about the increase for months. Next week there is a meeting betweeb the Premiers of all states to discuss the increase of the GST from 10% to 15%.
      This will mean that everything you currently buy that has GST attached will rise by 5% and everything that currently doesn’t have GST will rise by 15%.
      Overall, your average cost of living will rise by around 10%.

    • She must have been in a Sanitorium Ruth.. check your dockets the next time you shop Pam Walker..down the bottom will will see the GST cost added

  10. Eat fresh fruit and veg – eat healthy – the obesity epidemic is going crazy – yup it makes sense to increase the GST on fresh fruits and veg and other fresh foods – NOT!! How crazy can that idea be – maybe double the GST on sugary foods and take-aways (Maccas etc)!!

    1 REPLY
  11. Food was never suppose to attract a GST when it was introduced so it is disastrous for people on pensions etc to afford eat fresh and healthy.

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