May 23rd, 2023

Houston should cut the grocery tax, help Nova Scotia families afford food

HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia NDP is calling on the Houston government to cut the grocery tax and help families afford food. According to a recent report 22 per cent of Nova Scotian families can’t afford healthy food. That’s up from 17 per cent last year.

“Nova Scotians are feeling the pain of higher grocery costs and families are hurting. The Houston government needs to do more to help Nova Scotians directly afford the basics,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “Lowering grocery bills would help more families afford their groceries. That’s why today we’re calling on the Houston government to cut the tax on groceries to help Nova Scotians pay less for food. Right now in Nova Scotia, sales tax isn’t charged on food items classified as ‘basic groceries’ but many common grocery items are still taxed.”

The average family is expected to spend $16,000 on groceries this year, up from $14,700 in 2021. Christy-Lee Bojarski is a mother of two school-aged children. Her family is feeling the pinch of rising food prices with her grocery bills nearly doubling in the last year.

“Slowly I’ve felt our grocery habits changing, I’m shopping around a lot more, which takes time and energy, and choosing what we eat based on affordability, rather than our actual nutritional needs,” said Bojarski. “It also feels like eating well is becoming a privilege. I think it would help to have all grocery food be untaxed.”

Food price increases are predicted to rise between five and seven per cent in 2023, following a record-setting year in 2022 when the cost increases of groceries outpaced record-breaking inflation going up by over 10 per cent.

The NDP government removed HST from diapers, children’s clothing, and menstrual products in 2010.