SPAIN’S consumer organisation, Facua, has reported eight supermarket chains for failing to pass on tax cuts on food to customers.

As of January 1, IVA rates on a basket of basic foods was suspended as part of the government’s latest ‘anti-crisis’ measures while tax on oils and pasta was halved to 5%.

Facua sent a formal complaint on Thursday to the National Commission of Markets and Competition(CNMC).

When announcing the cuts last week, Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, warned that retailers had to pass on the savings rather than boosting profits.

Facua has named Alcampo, Aldi, Carrefour, Dia, Eroski, Lidl, Hipercor and Mercadona as offenders.

It did admit though that bread prices in Mercadona and strawberry costs in Hipercor were probably errors.

Facua claims a 17% non-compliance rate on basic food prices in Dia; 10% in Carrefour; 8.6% in Eroski and Lidl; 7.8% in Aldi; and 6.25% in Alcampo.

There was an overall total of 50 breaches in product pricing where the IVA reduction was not passed on, and the consumer group added there were seven instances where prices actually rose after January 1.

Facua secretary-general, Ruben Sanchez, said: “”We want the CNMC to investigate and to open disciplinary proceedings to see whether the prices represent an increase in corporate profit margins, which is prohibited by law, or if the seven product rises are justified.”

“We are also concerned that local shops, bakers, and fishmongers have not passed on the IVA reduction and they have to be told to do so,” added Sanchez.


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