Australians are expected to soon be forced to pay significantly more for fruit, vegetables, milk and other groceries than they have in the past due to rising transport charges. It is predicted that constant price increases could occur in the next three years.
Namely, the decision was made to increase transport fees, because according to treasurer Jim Chalmers, this was the “cheapest option”. This levy was introduced in 2006 and applies to every liter of diesel used by trucks and buses, and was created to finance road maintenance and repairs.
Federal, state and territory transport ministers voted to increase the charge by six per cent a year for the next three years, and the charge was clarified in last week’s federal budget.
The rising cost has drawn sharp criticism from groups that believe transport firms and food producers will not be able to bear the higher costs. Transport and agriculture groups are warning that the increased tax on heavy vehicle use, which is expected to raise an additional $1.1 billion in the budget over four years, could force some businesses to lock up.
National Road Transport Association chief executive Warren Clarke said the toll hike would raise $101 million in the next financial year and more than $391 million by 2026-27.
– That’s more than a billion dollars that transport companies will have to find somewhere, and if they can’t pass it on to customers and end consumers, they will fail – said Clark.
Australian Dairy Association president Rick Gladigau says the fee increase is likely to hit primary producers, both in feed and delivery costs, and will further affect their business.
– Either the consumer will pay more for Australian fruit and vegetables, or farmers will go out of business and small businesses will close. Something has to happen. Either the government will reverse this decision or transport companies, farmers and small businesses will fail, or we will all have to pay more for groceries – said Bob Kater, an independent federal MP from Queensland.
But Treasurer Jim Chalmers defended the increase, saying transport ministers from across Australia had decided it was the cheapest option. But some products have already gone up in price, which many consumers have noticed.
Namely, due to the increase in the price of input items in their products, the manufacturers decided to reduce the weight of the product, while maintaining the same price. Practically, the price of these products per gram is higher than it used to be.
Thus, three articles “reduced” in February this year. These are “Masterfoods” garlic granules, which dropped from 50 to 45 grams, while the price remained at $3.15.
Then, “Ric” crackers, where the price remained at $3.50 despite the fact that the weight is now 227, and it was 300 grams. The Lindt maxi chocolate treat costs $17 for 354 grams, up from $16.50 for the former, which is about 20 grams more.
– Due to higher input costs, manufacturers usually implement what is formally known as a “content reduction strategy” – explained Gary Mortimer, professor of marketing and consumer behavior at the Queensland University of Technology.
With the new taxes on heavy vehicles, it looks like consumers are in for another round of food price hikes.
How much will the new fees be?
Under the new levy increases, heavy vehicle charges will rise from the current rate of 27.2 cents per liter of diesel to 32.4 cents by 2025.
– The choice was between an increase of ten or six percent, and we decided on a lower version. This is a common road user charge, introduced in 2006 by John Howard – explained Treasurer Chalmers.
How to save $1,700 a year?
Queensland University of Technology Professor Gary Mortimer says when shopping, consumers should look at the unit price of a product, which shows how much a product costs using a standard unit of measure.
– In a study I conducted with colleagues, we found that customers were able to save up to $1,700 per year on groceries simply by tracking the unit price to make more informed decisions – explained Mortimer.
Source: Vesti online by www.vesti-online.com.
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