9 Jul 2010

Growers brace themselves for GST rise

5:40 am on 9 July 2010

Growers say the GST rise in October could force some of them out of business.

Horticulture New Zealand says profitability in the industry is already under pressure without the scheduled rise in GST from 12.5% to 15%.

It says growers are receiving less for their produce than they were five years ago, but are, at the same time, having to absorb higher production costs.

Strawberry Growers New Zealand chairman John Greensmith says they're concerned the increase in GST will also affect sales.

Mr Greensmith says the strawberry season usually opens around October, so growers in his industry could start to feel the pinch of the GST increase immediately.

Winegrowers New Zealand chief executive Philip Gregan says they fear it will also push up the level of excise duty on domestic wine sales.

He says the move will push up inflation which will lead to further excise increases next year.