The FACUA-Consumers in Action group has reported 7 distribution chains to the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) for not passing on the IVA reduction to all foods affected by the measure.
The consumer association has reviewed 674 prices in Alcampo, Aldi, Carrefour, Dia, Eroski, Lidl, Hipercor and Mercadona, identifying 50 cases where the reduction in IVA had not been applied, and in 7 cases the prices had increased, and found that only one supermarket, Mercadona, complied with the law.
In most cases, the irregularities detected by FACUA consist of charging consumers the same amount as before the IVA reduction, with which the profit margin of the establishment will increase.
There are also products in which the sale price to the public is even higher than that of the days prior to 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, FACUA has detected incorrect practices of rounding up to add one cent when in reality they should be rounding down.
At the moment, the establishments with the most irregularities are Dia, 13 irregularities in the 80 prices compared, and 9 cases due to rounding up. In second place, Carrefour, where of the 113 prices analysed, in 11 cases the IVA reduction has not been passed on.
In Mercadona no anomaly has been detected in the 83 products that were checked, and in Hipercor only in 1 product from the 76 items checked failed. But the companies are also not allowed to increase prices for the next few months, so close monitoring will continue.
In other supermarkets, Eroski had 8 incorrect prices of the total of 92 evaluated. In Alcampo 6 prices with irregularities of the 96 analysed, in two cases due to rounding up. In Lidl, 6 prices have also been detected that are higher than they should be with the IVA reduction for a total of 70 products compared. At Aldi, 5 cases out of 64 evaluated have been reported.
In its complaints, FACUA requests the CNMC investigate the 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 they have not been passed on the IVA reduction.
According to the change in the law to combat the cost of living crisis, from January 1, 0% VAT will be applied to the following foods to which 4% was originally charged: Common bread, frozen common bread dough and frozen common bread intended exclusively for making common bread, and bread flours. Milk produced by any animal species: natural, certified, pasteurized, concentrated, skimmed, sterilized, UHT, evaporated and powdered and cheeses. Eggs, fruits, vegetables, legumes, tubers and cereals, which have the status of natural products in accordance with the Food Code and the provisions issued for its development.
For its part, IVA on olive and seed oils and pasta was lowered from 10 to 5%.