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Families Feeling The Pinch As Cost Of Living Soars

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An increasing number of families are feeling the pain of high mortgage rates and the soaring cost of living, reports published today show.

A survey in Wellington's Dominion Post has revealed one in four Kiwis are worried that they will not be able to meet their rent or mortgage commitments, while in Auckland a petition urging the abolition of GST on food is gathering support.

The survey showed 25 percent of people are concerned or very concerned about being able to pay their rent or mortgage during the next 12 months.

More than half those surveyed -- 52 percent -- say they are worse off financially than 12 months ago.

The New Zealand Herald reports shoppers are signing a petition outside city supermarkets urging the Government to abolish GST on food -- a response to the cost of filling the average trolley rising by more than a quarter in the past year.

A Weekend Herald comparison showed butter, cheese and some varieties of bread have more than doubled in price.

Most meat, vegetables and fish are also much more expensive.

A spokesman for Finance Minister Michael Cullen said a one-off change to GST would not stop international forces pushing up food prices.

"The Government will not change the GST system, as creating exemptions would add extra compliance costs for businesses which would be passed on to consumers," the spokesman said.

National's finance spokesman, Bill English, said his party preferred to tackle the affordability problem by cutting income taxes.

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