1 Oct 2010

Pre-GST spending splurge a fizzle

6:47 pm on 1 October 2010

A predicted spending splurge before the rise in GST appears to have fizzled out.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is now 15%. Some economists and retailers expected the increase from 12.5% to prompt a late spending splurge before 1 October.

But Paymark, which processes three-quarters of all electronic transactions, says that does not appear to have materialised in September, even for bigger ticket items.

Briscoe Group says it is displaying both pre-GST and post-GST prices so customers can see the difference.

Managing director Rod Duke says Briscoes has not seen any evidence of a pre-GST rise spending spree at its 90 stores.

Retailers warned

Consumer NZ says retailers who blame excessive price rises on the increase in GST could find themselves in breach of the Fair Trading Act.

It says retailers will have to be careful that if they put up prices by more than GST, they do not blame it all on the tax.

Misleading consumers breaches the Fair Trading Act and can be punishable by a fine.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says some big retail chains are advertising their intention to absorb GST, but in most cases this is just a marketing ploy.

The Goods and Services tax was originally introduced on 1 October 1986 at 10%. Income tax rates were lowered at the same time. GST was raised to 12.5% on 1 July 1989.