Facua denounces eight supermarkets for not lowering the price of various foods

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Up to eight large supermarkets have been denounced by Facua-Consumers in Action before the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) for not pass on the VAT reduction to all foods affected by the measure announced last week by the Government to alleviate the impact of inflation on food.

Specifically, the association has reviewed the evolution of a total of 676 prices in Alcampo, Aldi, Carrefour, DIA, Eroski, Lidl, Hipercor and Mercadona from December 30 to January 3.

Facua has detected in its analysis that in 52 cases not applied a drop in the price equivalent to that of VAT. Thus, 34 prices are identical to those at the end of the year, 11 have not affected the entire tax reduction and seven are even higher. The consumer association has specified that this is the first phase of the price monitoring campaign that it has launched and that it will continue to develop over the coming months.

In this sense, remember that the establishments cannot raise food prices affected by the VAT reduction at least until the end of April, a period that will be extended by two more months if the underlying VAT for the month of March is not below 5.5%. Only justified increases in cost increases will be legal.

DIA and Carrefour present more anomalies in prices

According to the report, the percentage of irregularities ranges from a very low 1% for Mercadona and Hipercor to 17% for DIA, followed by 10% for Carrefour.

Thus, the largest number of anomalies has been detected in DIA, 14 irregularities in the 81 prices compared, in nine cases due to rounding up, followed by Carrefour, where of the 113 prices analyzed, in 11 cases the VAT reduction has not been passed on.

Next, Eroski, with eight incorrect prices of the total of 92 evaluated, while in Alcampo six prices with irregularities of the 96 analyzed have been found, in two cases due to rounding up. In Lidl, six prices have also been detected that are higher than they should be with the VAT reduction for a total of 70 products compared.

For its part, in Aldi five cases of the 64 evaluated have been reported. In Hipercor, only one inflated price of the total of 76 products that have been monitored, while in Mercadona they have also found a single irregularity detected in the 84 foods where the price at the end of December has been compared with the current one.

According to the report, in most cases, the irregularities detected consist of charge consumers the same amount than before the drop in VAT, with which all of it would be used to increase the profit margin of the establishment.

Facua has also detected that there are products in which the retail price is even higher than the previous days upon the entry into force of the measure. Likewise, there are cases in which the decrease is less than the one that should be applied if the tax reduction were fully passed on.

Among them, the consumer organization has detected incorrect practices of round up to add a penny when in reality they should be lower.

In its complaints, Facua has requested the CNMC to research practices and open the appropriate disciplinary proceedings to determine if the prices applied represent an increase in business profit margins or are justified by increases in the costs of products where the VAT reduction has not been passed on.

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