On December 27, the Royal Decree Law 20/2022 He proposed a series of measures in response to the economic and social consequences of the Ukrainian War.
The price of buying fresh produce in online supermarkets rises 62.9% in one year, according to the Observatorio de ConsumoClaro
Among these measures, the Government decided to abolish from January 1, 2023 Value Added Tax (VAT) of certain products with the intention of alleviating the economic situation of the consumer.
For this, it was applied a discount from 4% to 0% basic necessities such as bread, flour, milk, cheese, eggs, fruits, vegetables, legumes, potatoes, cereals, etc. For their part, olive and seed oils and pasta suffered a reduction in VAT from 10% to 5%.
These tax reductions, as explained in the La Moncloa official page“will remain in force until June 30, 2023. In the event that the interannual rate of underlying inflation (which excludes energy and unprocessed food) for the month of March is less than 5.5%, the validity will end on May 1, 2023.
However, according to the Facua Consumer Organization, “one in three products affected by this drop in VAT has increased its price, which represents a notable increase in the number of products that have become more expensive taking into account that in February they were practically one in five”.
To corroborate these increases, Facua has prepared this same March a study that has collected the evolution of 1012 prices of different products food items affected by this drop in VAT.
The intention was to check whether or not irregularities were being committed in its application in eight analyzed supermarkets: Alcampo, Aldi, Carrefour, Día, Eroski, Lidl, Hipercor and Mercadona.
As Facua explained this Friday, this freezing of VAT on the aforementioned products “can only reflect increases if the supplier itself suffers an increase in production or distribution costs.”
Said increase must be justified, because according to the aforementioned law upload application is prohibited in the business profit margins of all members of the production, distribution or consumption chain.
Supermarkets, objects of the study and the increase in their prices
Hipercor is the supermarket with the highest number of anomalies detected by Facua when applying the VAT reductions, as occurred in its February study.
In this chain, 71 prices have become more expensive out of a total of 167 analyzed, which represents a 42.2% increase, that is, four out of ten prices have risen. Hipercor is followed by Lidl, with 26 of 63 products, 41.2%.
In third place we find Carrefour, with 65 of 72 prices, 37.7%. For its part, Aldi has 37.5%, that is, 21 of the 56 foods analyzed have raised their prices.
Followed by Eroski, where 40 prices have risen out of a total of 137 foods, 29.1%. Meanwhile, Dia has done so with 27 of 136 foods, that is, 27.2%. Finally, heThe two chains where the lowest percentage increase has been registered are Mercadona and Alcampo.
In Mercadona, 27 products out of a total of 144 analyzed represent an 18.7% increase, while Alcampo is positioned as the one with the lowest price increase with 25 increases among the 136 registered prices, 18.3%.
This makes a total of 312 prices that present increases out of a total of 1012 analyzed, which contrasts with the 178 products that also increased their prices in February with respect to the VAT restrictions applied at the beginning of January.
Food objects of the study and the increase in their prices
The greatest increase is taken by the fruits and vegetablessince 127 of those 312 products that present increases belong to this type of food, becoming the most affected by the rise in these prices with an increase of 40.4% of the total.
55 prices belong to olive oil or other seeds, with 17.5%; while 47 refer to milk or dairy products, 14.9%. Followed by 34 price increases in legumes, that is, 10.8%.
19 rises have been for pasta with 6% and 17 for rice, ending the list with 5.4%. On the other hand, the remaining dozen prices are basically bread and eggs.
Among the foods that have become more expensive in each supermarket are fruits and vegetables. In Mercadonathe 2 kilo mesh of onions has increased its price by 66.9%; in Day, the mesh of potatoes of three kilos 46.5%.
In Hipercor: Sabroz brilliant round rice of one kilo has suffered an increase of 53.3%; In Alcampo, the product that has become more expensive is the piel de sapo melon with 35.4%.
For its part, at Aldi, the liter of Carbonell brand olive oil has increased by 87.3%; in Eroski, the kilo of Buti white onions has become 65.7% more expensive; the price of pomegranates in Carrefour has risen by 108.9%; and, finally, at Lidl, iceberg lettuce has increased by 52.1% compared to the data collected at the beginning of January.
Facua asks for solutions
In the month of April, this Consumer Organization will once again share the data of a new study. But in the meantime, he wants to remember that “the important thing is that the VAT issue does not lead us astray, especially seeing the slight effect it has had on the shopping list.
What is relevant is that prices in the last year have risen spectacularly by 40, 60, 80 or even 100% depending on the products”. In fact, this is also reflected in the various Observatories published quarterly by ConsumoClaro.
In addition to requesting a price intervention with which the Government sets maximum prices for basic foods in accordance with the 1996 Trade Law, FACUA claims the non-existent responses it has received from the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) before the complaints presented to the channels under analysis in January, February and March of the same year.
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