Families stretched as bills keep coming

NZ Herald April 29, 2007
Massive price jumps in household essentials, with some basics up 34 per cent, are forcing middle-income Kiwi families on to the breadline – and have swallowed up the extra funds from the Government’s Working for Families scheme. The latest consumers’ price index showed a big rise in the cost of home basics in the past year.There was a 4 per cent rise in the cost of food, a 6.9 per cent increase in electricity, a 10.6 per cent surge in gas and 8.5 per cent in water supply charges. The biggest hit was fruit, which shot up 34 per cent, followed by rubbish disposal, up 14 per cent. Those costs will be passed on at cafes, hotels and bars, which will have to raise prices, said Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson. Coupled with that is a 3 per cent rise in rents, while house prices have risen around 14 per cent in the past 12 months.