By Anna Ellis • 01 September 2023 • 14:53
Spain: 48% of VAT-Reduced Foods Soar in Price in 2023. Image: Davizro Photography / Shutterstock.com.
The percentage of price hikes has been steadily on the rise since January.
FACUA-Consumidores en Acción, a consumer advocacy group, recently conducted a comprehensive study in August tracking the price changes of nearly a thousand food items affected by the VAT reduction in eight major supermarket chains.
What they found was quite alarming – almost half of the products analysed, precisely 48.4 per cent, had experienced price hikes since the introduction of this regulation at the beginning of the year.
This increase in prices is concerning because, according to the royal decree-law that implemented this measure, these products were not supposed to become more expensive unless there were genuine cost increases involved.
At the start of the year, only 6.7 per cent of items showed increases, but by August, this figure had jumped to a worrying 48.4 per cent.
In their latest study for August, FACUA scrutinized 976 prices across these eight supermarket chains.
Shockingly, they discovered that in 471 cases, or 48.4 per cent, prices had risen compared to their pre-VAT reduction levels.
One supermarket chain that particularly stands out in this regard is Carrefour, where a staggering 58.2 per cent of the 163 prices they monitored had increased.
Alcampo followed closely behind with 55 per cent, while Aldi, which had previously been a leader in price increases, saw 52.5 per cent of its 59 prices rise.
Lidl wasn’t far behind, with 51.1 per cent of its 64 items costing more.
The other chains included in the study also recorded significant price increases.
In comparison, Eroski and Mercadona had the lowest percentage of price hikes, at 44.6 per cent and 37.6 per cent, respectively.
The total number of increased prices, 471, is a rise from the 463 recorded in July, despite the similar sample size.
When delving into the types of products affected, it’s clear that fruits, vegetables, olive oils, and rice and pasta products have experienced the most significant price increases. This includes a wide range of everyday items such as milk, dairy products, and legumes.
Some of the most substantial price hikes were observed in various supermarket chains.
For example, the price of a kilo of Fuji apples at Alcampo increased by a staggering 157.6 per cent since January. At Aldi, a 2-kilogram bag of El Mercado oranges saw a 103.5 per cent increase. Carrefour witnessed an astounding 186.9 per cent increase in the price of Carrefour pomegranates per kilo.
Meanwhile, Mercadona saw a 47.4 per cent increase in Sabroz round rice.
These findings raise concerns about whether the VAT reduction is genuinely benefiting consumers or if it’s being exploited by businesses to increase their profits.
The affected foods under this VAT reduction include common bread, milk, cheese, eggs, fruits, vegetables, oils, and pasta. While the reduction was intended to provide relief to consumers, it’s crucial that it’s implemented in a way that truly benefits the public.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere north of Alicante on the Costa Blanca with her family for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking. Anna is a news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in the Costa Blanca South area and Almeria. Share your story with her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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