A nice table

The day after Phil Goff announces he is campaigning on the cost of living, Stats NZ announces the lowest annual inflation rate since March 2004.

Bill English has done this handy table comparing the last two years, to the previous two years. National needs to do more stuff like this:

Price and wage changes over comparable periods

Labour National
Sep 2006 to Sep 2008 Sep 2008 to Sep 2010
Overall inflation (Consumers Price Index) 7% 3%
Overall food prices (Food Price Index) 15% 5%
Food prices
Bread and cereals 18% 4%
Milk 23% 7%
Cheese 50% -3%
Eggs 19% -6%
Vegetables 21% -6%
Fruit 8% 7%
Beef 18% -1%
Poultry 44% -2%
Non-food prices
Petrol 22% -14%
Electricity 13% 8%
Gas 22% 5%
Housing rents 6% 3%
Wages Dec 2006 to Sep 2008

(7 quarters)

Sep 2008 to Jun 2010

(7 quarters)

Nominal pre-tax wages 7% 7%
Real pre-tax wages 0% 5%
Real after-tax wages -1% 9%

Incredible that food prices went up 15% over the last two years of Labour’s term. Now this is not their fault, but it shows how meaningless their no GST policy on fruit and veges is – the price movements from season to season are far greater than the GST. For example vegetables went up 21% in Labour’s last two years and have dropped 6% since Sep 2008.

And most damning, a NZer on the average wage had a 1% drop in their real after tax wages from Dec 2006 to Sep 2008, while under the most recent seven quarters that worker would be 9% better off. And that is before the 1 October tax changes which will make then even better than 9%.

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