Food prices, consumer goods | Pensioners affected: – They have to eat porridge

Food prices, consumer goods | Pensioners affected: – They have to eat porridge

– I think it's become very crazy. The price increases are absolutely crazy. Not least because fish has become very expensive. It's as expensive as beef, says Ingebjør Godskesen.

She is the county leader of the Pensioners' Party in Agder. She speaks to many elderly people who are really struggling to make ends meet.

– Many people I know buy items that are about to expire and are sold at a discount. More people are eating porridge as they did in the old days.

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Less food for the money

Food prices have risen 18.8 percent in the past two years. In the same period, pensions have increased by 11.5 percent. Pensioners simply get less food for their money now than they did two years ago.

– Before, you could choose something cheaper, but now almost everything is expensive. Fish has absolutely crazy prices. Even frozen goods are expensive now, says Godskisen.

Fish was among the foods that recorded the largest increase, becoming 22 percent more expensive in two years. Price increases were strongest for fruits and vegetables. The increase here was 27.3 and 26.1 percent, respectively.

“Cheaper” beer and spirits.

Therefore, health products are the ones that have increased the most.

Meanwhile, beer, wine and spirits prices saw a more moderate increase. Here, prices actually rose less than pensions.

So while retirees get less food for their money today, they can get more beer, wine and spirits instead.

One important reason why alcohol prices have not risen as strongly as food prices is taxes, says Department Head of Statistics Norway (SSB) Espen Christiansen.

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– The fees constitute a large and fixed part of the retail price, which reduces the percentage of price increases that came as a result of the rise in the prices of grains, grapes, electricity and transportation, he says.

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New and higher price level

The surge in food prices we've seen over the past two years is rarely this strong. And unfortunately, it's probably here to stay.

“What we are seeing now is probably a change in level. Food prices are establishing themselves at a new and higher level,” says Christiansen at Statistics Norway, noting:

“It cannot be completely ruled out that food prices in general will fall somewhat, but it is unlikely that we will see any return to their old levels,” he says.

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He points to wars, conflicts and climate change as important reasons behind the significant rise in food prices.

– If the war in Ukraine ends, it will be positive for food prices. But climate change will be there, and that could make food more expensive.

Take care of your health

Ingebjørg Godskesen of the Pensioners' Party fears that rising food prices will simply affect health.

– Many low-income earners are forced to resort to unhealthy foods. It's not good at all. We know that healthy food prolongs life.

“We recommend eating healthy, but it's not easy with these prices,” she says.

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Nettavisen price checks show that The prices of many food items have risen sharply in the past year.. Prices for fish balls produced by Vesterålen have risen by 67 percent. Stabburet's classic mackerel has increased tomato yield by 45 percent. And also discount brands such as The first price saw a significant price increase last year.

-I was in the store and saw salmon prices exceeding 300 NOK. It's like the price of a steak, she says.

-No one thinks about retirees

Thus, pensions have risen at a lower rate than food prices.

– For a minimum pensioner who receives 192,000 per year, it does not help much if the pension increases by a few percent. He won't make a lot of kroner. She says that someone who works a full-time job and earns £800,000 will get much more than that, even if the percentage increase in salary is the same.

The rich are getting richer, and the rest are forced to face many of the same expenses as everyone else. The costs of food, electricity, and taxes are the same for everyone, she says.

She is not satisfied with the way retirees are treated.

“I think that regardless of the government, nobody thinks about the retirees,” says Godskisen.

She hopes that retirees will come together in a political party. She believes that retirees will have more power to influence.

– It is often said that we “get” a pension. Just like we're so lucky. After all, this is money we've paid over many years, and we'll get it back. “But we are at the mercy of what politicians think we should get,” says Gudskiesen.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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