News Release Archive

No doubt about it, groceries are a big chunk of the family
budget. Sobeys estimates the average Nova Scotia household spends
about $104 per week at the grocery store. Now, with the new
harmonized sales tax (HST) drawing near, many Nova Scotians are
wondering if their Saturday morning grocery buy will ever be the

"The HST will have no effect on the basic food in the store,"
said Deloitte & Touche commodity tax manager Mark Singer of
Halifax. "And for the most part, the everyday consumer doing his
weekly shopping won't be affected by the HST."

Statistics Canada information backs Mr. Singer's assertion. The
Consumer Price Index Basket of Goods for Nova Scotia shows that
more than 75 per cent of goods and services will either not be
taxed or will be taxed less when the HST arrives April 1.

Morton Frankland who operates the local IGA store in Weymouth,
said the HST reduces the cost of doing business, because HST lets
businesses claim more tax credits, resulting in greater savings
that will be passed on to consumers.

"I think all of us will pass on the savings we get from the HST
to the customer. If I don't, but my competition up the hill does,
then my business will feel it," said Mr. Morton. "I've discussed
this with my customers. It's all part of doing business ... I
want to bring customers into my store, so I'll pass on the

After April 1, some things will cost more, some will cost less.
Items that had both the PST and GST added on will go down in
price. Items that only had GST on them will go up. 

You won't have to skimp on your produce purchases because, like
always, the basic foods are tax free. This includes dairy
products, meat, vegetables and fruit, bread and other grains.
Prepared foods like microwaveable dinners, frozen vegetables and
canned foods will also remain tax free.  

Several things are going down in price as a result of the HST. In
family health, first aid products like Band-Aids, cough syrup and
all over-the-counter drugs will decrease in price. Soap, toilet
paper, paper towels and most cleaning supplies will also be
cheaper. Since these items are affected by both PST and GST, the
harmonized sales tax will cause the prices to drop by about four
per cent.

Feeding the family pet will also become cheaper -- bird, dog and
cat food all decrease, along with other pet accessories. 

A lot depends on the type of purchases you make. For example, if
you frequent the snack aisle, you'll pay more for things like
chips. Previously, they were only charged the GST, so they will
now go up from seven to 15 per cent HST.

Taking a walk down another aisle shows that items such as
cosmetics, contact lens solution, tissues and laundry detergent
are decreasing. However, feminine hygiene products, toothpaste,
tooth brushes and disposable diapers will increase.

-30 -

Contact: Steve Warburton  902-424-3522

NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information, call the Department of
Finance's HST information line at 1-800-731-7707. Or, if you have
a business question, call Revenue Canada's information line at

trp                    Mar. 17, 1997 - 8:45 a.m.