GST restickering taxing work for store workers

Mitre 10 Mega sales assistant Kelsey Obbeek has spent days replacing price stickers ready for the...
Mitre 10 Mega sales assistant Kelsey Obbeek has spent days replacing price stickers ready for the new GST rate, which applies from today. Photo by Jane Dawber.
The busy hands of the workers at Dunedin's Mitre 10 Mega suggested the new GST rate might be 15% better for manicurists.

The workers have been peeling price labels off some of the store's more than 40,000 merchandise lines for days, and some fingers were looking fatigued.

"Basically, fingernails are the best way to get the stickers off. I might be ruining my nails, but it is the best way to do it," Kelsey Obbeek said yesterday, as she took another item off the shelf.

Miss Obbeek was part of a team finishing the store's month-long repricing effort, ready for when GST increases from 12.5% to 15% today.

The change coincides with income-tax cuts Finance Minister Bill English said would offset the new GST to boost family incomes and strengthen economic growth.

Labour Party leader Phil Goff warned it also coincided with fuel price rises of up to 7c, increased ACC levies and the price of the emissions trading scheme.

Motorists knew GST would affect their fuel - there were queues for petrol at many Dunedin service stations by early yesterday afternoon.

Supermarkets were also busy, but managers did not think the new GST was as important as yesterday being pay day and, until last night, the weather being settled.

Centre City New World owner-operator Craig Nieper said the changeover might not be as tumultuous as it was in the pre-computer days of individual price stickers.

Like Mitre 10 and other large retailers, many supermarkets had either already replaced most of their labels or had slipped the new ones behind the old prices in preparation.



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