Goff’s discounted truffles

October 1st, 2010 at 2:25 pm by David Farrar

writes in (off line) exposing another consequence of :

Mr Goff’s policy would slash the price of American pomegranates, now selling at over $30/kg, New Zealand cranberries, selling at $25.30/kg, and Philippine figs selling at $2 each but would leave the price of low-fat milk, wholemeal bread and natural muesli untouched.

The ultimate in excess, fresh Alban truffles, currently selling for $6000/kg in Auckland, would fall by $800/kg under Mr Goff’s policy.  Good luck selling that one in West Auckland.

The residents of Epsom whose like French cusine, will be thanking Mr Goff for knocking $800/kg off the cost of their truffles.

But before they celebrate, I have to take issue with one aspect of Matthew’s claim. You see a truffle is a fungus, and is a fungus a vegetable?

I don’t know the answer for sure. But what I can guarantee is that when the answer is worth $800/kg, the court case will go all the way to the Supreme Court.

And think if the Supreme Court rules that a truffle is not a vegetable, for purposes. Then presumably mushrooms will also be deemed not to be vegetables. And so all the supermarkets will have to remove mushrooms from their fruit and vegetables sections.

We may end up with our own version of the 1893 Nix v Heddon when the US Supreme Court had to rule on whether a tomato was a fruit or a vegetable (it is a vegetable – well at least in the US).

I can see Labour’s GST policy attracting lots of votes from lawyers.

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20 Responses to “Goff’s discounted truffles”

  1. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    If you want GST free veges – grow you own and don’t expect others to pay for it through unspecified tax increases. Typically the Labour Party rewards the lazy and punishes the hard working through tax increases.

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  2. mjwilknz (605 comments) says:

    Perhaps like many others, I am amazed Labour’s got into this sideshow when constitutional issues that might really effect the future of this country are passing them by! Perhaps I need to take up commenting on Red Alert in case National lead this country down the tube while it has no effective opposition!

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  3. m@tt (629 comments) says:

    As you are so concerned about the amazing complexity that having two values for GST (one of them 0.00%) along with the potential for people to avoid tax in ways you see inappropriate (avoiding sales tax on truffles…) then I expect to see you campaigning vigorously for the removal of other more complex tax issues, LAQC’s for example.

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  4. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    woah, easy on the spin there!

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  5. Jinky (185 comments) says:

    To tvb – I’m sure that it was National that raised gst today . Something John Key specifically said he would only do if his Govt wasn’t doing a good job!

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  6. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Good ole rootn tootn hootn – wringing out a tired non story…hmm wasnt it ronald reagan who tried to have “ketchup’ classified as a vegetable to avoid paying for real vegetables in school provided lunches???

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  7. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    Goffs a fun guy

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  8. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Aaaaaah but what about the stamens from the saffron flower?

    And what about that other common vegetable, good old Mary Banana? Shit eh, under Labour you’ll get stoned for twelve and a half percent less. The twelve and a half percent stoners’ party.

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  9. sweetd (125 comments) says:

    A tomato is definitely a fruit. That’s why it contains seeds. But most people would call it a vegetable. It’s often used as vegetables are used. The term “vegetable” is a culinary term, so a tomato could be a fruit, served as a vegetable. The distinction is blurred by the labeling of “ketchup” as a vegetable when it is more properly a nutritional condiment.

    The US Supreme Court, in 1883, defined the tomato as a vegetable in Nix v. Hedden, but acknowledged that it was botanically a fruit. (see related link) — “Knowledge is to know that a tomato is a fruit, but wisdom is to know not to put one in a fruit salad.”

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_the_tomato_a_fruit_or_a_vegetable

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  10. Repton (769 comments) says:

    You see a truffle is a fungus, and is a fungus a vegetable?

    Fungi are closer to vegetables than they are to animals.

    Well, if you ask a biologist, anyway. I’m not sure what the creationists would say :-)

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  11. lyndon (325 comments) says:

    Everyone talks about whether a tomato is a fruit, but nobody every mention cucumbers or marrows.

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  12. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    Why – are the litle dears (cucumbers and marrows) feeling deprived, ignored and (gasp!) disadvantaged? Perhaps someone should inform Boris of this fact, since after all he is the ‘pontificator of all discrimmination’ (but don’t tell Keith – he’ll want to throw a flag at something – as long as there is a photographer to record the event)

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  13. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Ahh the laws of unintended consquences and Pollies. They walk into the same trap time and again because they open mouth before brain is engaged.

    Also the law of common and sense and Pollies.

    the longer they are Pollies the less common sense they have.

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  14. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    If you want GST free veges – grow you own

    Where do you buy your GST free seeds from?

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  15. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Fungi are not vegetables.

    (It really is as simple as that.)

    In fact they are not even plants.

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  16. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    It occurred to me that if University hostels supplied fresh fruit to students at meal times, it cannot pass on the GST reduction to students unless it re-sold the fruit rather than lumping it with the total cost of food.

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  17. Steve (4,563 comments) says:

    It’s not Gnocchi, it’s Potatoe.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mTiCHT_y4U

    I got my eye on you

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  18. Inky_the_Red (759 comments) says:

    absolutely stupid headline. Far more money is spent on apples than truffles in NZ.

    Silly of Labour to restrict GST exemption to fresh Fruit and vegetables (and financial services) most of the world has no sales tax on food I have no idea why NZ insists on being the exception – stupidity maybe

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  19. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    Elbow grease to grow the veges is GST exempt. But then the Labour Party does not believe in work. It believes in people getting welfare for NOTHING paid for by the confiscated income of people who do WORK. That is what the Labour Party is all about and GST exempt veges just sums it all up.

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