Asedas, the Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-Services and Supermarkets, whose members include Ahorra Más, Dia, Lidl and Mercadona, have called on the government to take drastic action to prevent further price rises.
With the Inflation rate close to a 30 year high hitting 9.8% in March and 8.4% in April, supermarkets are requesting that the government implements urgent measures to manage the crisis.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, in the first quarter of this year, consumption fell by 3.7% and it is believed that the situation will only get worse.
This fear is the reason that Asedas, who represent more than 20 supermarket chains with 19,000 stores, is appealing to the Spanish government to lower the rate of IVA (Spain’s value added tax).
A letter from Asedas, sent this week to the Spanish government, stated that “Our main concern is the impact that rising prices are going to have on consumers, who have already been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic.” It also argued that the authorities need to step up to the mark by reducing taxes on basic products.
The association is also asking for ‘an immediate reduction in the regulatory costs that supermarkets have to bear’, for example, the installation of electric charging points and plastic packaging.
They state that these measures could be delayed so that they do not further increase the considerable costs that these businesses are currently having to meet.
In addition to these requests, Asedas is asking for a postponement on the application of charges for things like water and fluorinated gases.
The association has also complained about the price of electricity, as this is now their biggest expense. They would like the new capped prices approved by the government to ‘come into effect as soon as possible', and would like a ‘major essential consumer’ scheme to be drawn up so that supermarkets have access to more flexible and advantageous contracts with electricity suppliers.
Asedas also denotes that even though the weight of energy costs is extremely high for supermarkets, their percentage of total costs doesn’t qualify them to be regarded as an ‘electro-intensive sector’ where they would benefit from discounts.
In the above-mentioned letter to the government, the association said “With the present situation, where electricity costs are rising exponentially, many of our companies see their sustainability or the viability of their businesses compromised in the short to medium term.”
It would also like the EU to provisionally halt or limit the taxes that are associated with contaminating emissions and for the sector to urgently receive EU funding to help install renewable energy plants in their logistics and commercial facilities.