Drop price of good food – study

The Press 02/09/2009

Discount cards or vouchers for cut-price, healthy food have been proposed for the poor and chronically ill. Research by an Otago University health economist proposes a food-discount system similar to the food stamps distributed to the poor in the United States. Des O’Dea will present his Government-funded research today at a public health conference in Dunedin. His investigation was commissioned by the Labour government. O’Dea and colleagues from Otago University’s Wellington campus considered whether the GST on fruit and vegetables should be scrapped, but decided that would be difficult to administer.

The Ministry of Health will consider the findings and recommendations. The voucher or discount-card system has been supported, in principle, by dietitians and health lobby groups. However, some believed it would be better to drop the GST on fruit and vegetables.