Food prices have surged on power hikes: TSU

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Dec 11, 2013 - Page 3

Electricity and fuel price hikes have driven up commodity prices and affected the livelihoods of people from all walks of life, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus said yesterday.

Citing data provided by the Council of Agriculture, the caucus told a news conference that using the council’s list of 322 agricultural and seafood products as basis, the prices of 189 items had risen in comparison with the same period last year.

While Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has claimed that the electricity price hike in October, the second scheduled increase since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) began his second term in May last year, would only affect a few people, the latest data suggested otherwise, TSU Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) said.

Households suffer when the prices of even the most basic food items increase, she said.

The price of white shrimp has risen from NT$141.2 (US$4.8) to NT$212.2 per kilogram, a 50 percent price increase, while the price of milkfish has increased by 12.7 percent, TSU Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said.

Another comparison prepared by the caucus showed that the average price of 27 agricultural and seafood products had risen 23.2 percent from 2008, Hsu said, adding that the average price of 130 types of vegetables also increased 18.6 percent during the same period.

The Executive Yuan not only underestimated the impact of the fuel and electricity price hikes, but also failed to present any measure to stabilize commodity prices, he said.