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GST-free Food Guide "good news" for consumers.

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Senator Andrew Murray Senator for Western Australia

Press Release Dated: 14 Jun 2000 Press Release Number: 00/349 Portfolio: Treasury 

GST-free Food Guide "good news" for consumers The Tax Office GST Food Guide outlining in detail the long list of food items that will be GST-free on July 1 - because of the Democrats - is good news for consumers.

Democrats Taxation spokesperson Senator Andrew Murray said the over $3 billion GST exemption of food insisted on by the Democrats particularly benefited pensioners, families and low income earners by removing the most regressive aspect of the GST.

"By insisting the Howard Government make food GST-free, Australia joins 23 of the 27 OECD countries with a GST/VAT which either exempt food or tax food at a concessionary rate," he said.

"The zero-rating of food was essential for delivering a fair GST because food is the largest single spending item for low income households, particularly families and pensioners.

"Zero-rating of food, combined with the increases in pensions and social security allowances also won by the Democrats, will ensure that from July 1, Australian households reliant on social security will actually be better off than they are now.

"The Australian Consumers Association estimates that the zero-rating of food will reduce the average grocery bill by about $3 a week.

"We acknowledge that zero-rating of food has added to the compliance costs for some retailers. But the options of simplified accounting systems and the definitive food retailing guide will work to minimise these costs, while delivering a huge boost in fairness and equity for low-income earners," he said.

Senator Murray commended the co-operation between the Tax Office and the Australian Food and Grocery Council in producing today's GST Food Guide.

Household Type GST including food GST excluding food

Age pensioner 4.2% 3.0%

Single income couple, 2.8% 1.9%

two children

Dual income couple, 2.9% 2.4%

two children

Sole parent family, 3.1% 2.7%

two children

Disability pensioner 3.9% 2.8%

Source : NATSEM

Treatment of Food in other OECD countries:

Food GST-free Food at a lower rate Food at full rate

Australia Belgium Denmark

Ireland Germany New Zealand

Great Britain Greece Norway

Canada Spain Japan

Mexico France

Poland Italy

Korea Luxembourg




Sweden (very few)




Czech Republic




Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 08:42:46