Even before Government’s austerity measures announced in the June 11 mini Budget by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Mottley take effect, the taxes are already being blamed for an increase in the price of a Barbadian staple.
The island’s largest bakery today announced that in light of the introduction of a 40-cent per litre fuel charge and a Garbage and Sewage Contribution levy of 50 per cent of the water bills of businesses, the price of bread would rise by one per cent.
“The Wonder and Purity branded sandwich loaves, salt bread and sandwich making subs will see an increase of approximately one per cent only. That means, for example, that the hamburger buns, which were $3.75 before, as of July 1st will have a recommended retail price of $3.80 – a five cent increase,” Ralph Holder, the general manager of Purity Bakery, said.
However, while bread prices will rise, cakes and pastries will cost consumers less due to the removal of the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), Holder said.
“The cake and pastry line which attracted the NSRL, when it is removed, will only decrease by about four to five per cent. So items like jam puffs, meat rolls, turnovers and cake will see a drop in price. The Purity meat pie, which was previously $3.70 with NSRL, after July 1st will be $3.55 – a decrease of 15 cents,” he explained, as he outlined the suggested retail prices.
Insisting that the NSRL was only on products that contained added sugar, the Purity official said the bakery “had to sharpen our pencils to help shield our consumers from significant price increases especially on the products that are the mainstay for feeding families”.
“We had to trade off the increased taxes, with the removal of the NSRL,” he said.
When the dreaded NSRL was increased from the two to ten per cent last year, Purity had announced an immediate increase to the price of some of its pastries, in an effort for the company to remain competitive.