Record food prices are crushing Kiwis at the checkout as the cost of living crisis becomes entrenched under Labour, National Party Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

Data released by Statistics New Zealand today shows that food prices have taken off again, climbing by 12 per cent in the last 12 months, with fruit and vegetables up 23 per cent.

“Not since 1989 have food prices risen this fast in New Zealand. Food prices have increased more in the past three years than they did in the entire nine years of the previous National Government,” says Ms Willis.

“Labour has failed to address the underlying drivers of inflation in our economy and Kiwis are facing the consequences every time they shop.

“Soaring food prices can’t just be blamed on international factors. New Zealand food producers have had it tough under Labour: new farming regulations, worker shortages and additional business costs are all showing up in the prices Kiwis now have to pay at the supermarket.

“National would address the underlying drivers of rampant price inflation – focusing the Reserve Bank on a single inflation-busting mandate; reducing costs and regulations being faced by business; fixing worker shortages; bringing discipline to Government spending and reducing the tax Kiwis pay.

“Under National’s plan to adjust tax brackets for inflation and introduce the FamilyBoost childcare tax rebate, young families will be up to $5500 a year better off.

“National will bring discipline back to Government spending by, for example, reducing wasteful consultancy spending by $400m. Labour’s track record of wasteful spending and excessive regulation has worsened labour shortages, driven inflation higher, and heightened the pain every Kiwi shopper is feeling.

“National will back farmers and food producers and work with them to reduce the extra costs that have been piled onto them by Labour.

“National will take action to get food prices under control once more.”