Food prices have been troubling Czech households for some time and are expected to rise further from January. This is even though VAT on them will decrease from fifteen to twelve percent. The reason for this is the increase in energy prices, which will reach tens of percent for some businesses. This was stated by Dana Večeřová, president of the Food Chamber of the Czech Republic, in a discussion program on Czech Television.
“I’m not saying that the price increase will be sudden, but we definitely cannot count on a price decrease,” she declared. According to Tomáš Prouza, president of the Trade and Tourism Union, the increase will be significant. “Any increase in energy prices will mean a significant increase in food prices. We are already hearing this from several suppliers,” Prouza said.
He added that this will not only be caused by the price of energy, but from January, for example, taxes on property and profit will also increase, and the government has also decided to change the rules on employment agreements.
On the other hand, Agriculture Minister Marek Výborný (KDU-ČSL) said he sees no reason why food prices should rise. According to him, companies should stop blaming energy prices because they have reached the EU average.
Večeřová criticized a comparison of food prices in Germany and the Czech Republic, recently presented in a video by Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS). In Germany, VAT on food is seven percent, and Poland has reduced the rate to zero until the end of this year. “This leads to long-term purchases of Czechs abroad,” she added.