Our State-owned broadcaster, TVNZ, engaged academics at the Public Policy Institute at one of our State Universities to "fact check" the party leaders during the debate, which was watched by much of the country - the academics declared National Party Leader Luxon's claim that taking GST off fruit and veges would not lower their prices to be down-right, flat-out "false". Amazingly, Radio NZ are running the story below today, hot on the heals of DownToEarth Kiwi querying TVNZ's "fact checking":
Ministers advised taking GST off fruit, veggies would not lower prices
Documents obtained under the Official Information Act by Radio NZ [revealed] Ministry of Health documents [that] there is growing evidence .. taking GST off food might not work in NZ .. International evidence about fiscal measures has to be carefully interpreted when considering application to NZ, since the NZ tax system has no pass through mechanism from a change in tax to a change in the price of specific goods," the advice says. "GST is based on a business’s total revenue not on the revenue associated with a particular product. So removing GST off vegetables and fruits would not result in a direct decrease in price."
I mean you couldn't make it up if you tried.
One day TVNZ run a headline saying Chris Luxon makes things up and peddles untruths - concocting a false claim about how we shouldn't expect to see a drop in fruit and vegetables prices if GST is removed, and the next day Radio NZ receives an OIA request that the government itself was advised along the exact same lines that Luxon advised.