• Jenny Shipley
Prime Minister

New Zealand households are benefiting from a reduction in grocery prices in real terms over the past 15 years, due to National's good economic management, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today outside the Moorehouse Road Pak 'n' Sav in Christchurch.

"In 1999 dollar terms the original 1984 Anne Hercus shopping basket of 42 grocery items would have cost $131.59. Today the same basket if purchased from Pak 'n' Sav here in Christchurch costs just $102.85, which is a 22 per cent reduction.

"Clearly, the buying power of the consumer dollar has increased and important grocery items continue to remain relatively low in price."

Mrs Shipley said New Zealand families were benefiting from lower prices in many other areas.

"The reduction in tariffs is benefiting New Zealand families in all areas of their lives - from cheaper cars to cheaper shoes for their children.

"A New Zealand Institute of Economic Research study released earlier this year shows that tariff removal has reduced the price of cars, household appliances, clothes and shoes in New Zealand.

"Cars are 16 per cent cheaper because of the removal of import tariffs and clothing is 15 per cent down. An average pair of running shoes that cost about $130 (inflation adjusted) ten years ago, now cost about $30. A pair of tracksuit pants that cost an average of about $27 (inflation adjusted) ten years ago, now cost about $15.

"By 2010 cars will be a third cheaper, appliances will be down 16 per cent, shoes 22 per cent, and clothes a massive 34 per cent.

"These savings will benefit thousands of New Zealanders which is why Helen Clark and Jim Anderton need to tell New Zealand families how much prices will increase under their polices.

"Mr Anderton wants to raise tariffs to earn an additional $1 billion a year. That is like putting a tax surcharge of $1000 on every New Zealand family - it will see prices of basic household necessities like children's clothing and shoes go up.

"Clark and Anderton need to be honest about the effect their anti-trade polices will have on New Zealand families - and New Zealanders need to be aware that only National can keep prices down - in the supermarkets and in the malls.

"Labour and the Alliance's polices will increase prices ? they can not avoid that fact. They must now start explaining that to kiwi mums and dads," the Prime Minister said.