The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of David Bradbury

David Bradbury

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

14 September 2010 - 5 March 2012

Media Release of 13/10/2011

NO.042

Abbott gives the Greenlight to Price Gouging

The Leader of the Opposition has given the green light for businesses to use the passage of the carbon price in the House of Representatives to unnecessarily jack up their prices and gouge consumers.

In two separate interviews yesterday, Mr Abbott endorsed businesses increasing their prices and blaming it on the carbon price before the scheme has even passed the Parliament.

“Mr Abbott has been out there misleading people about the impact of the carbon price and now he wants to see businesses do the same,” said Mr Bradbury.

“Businesses that try to increase their prices and falsely blame the carbon price risk being hauled before the consumer watchdog, the ACCC.

“The carbon price will have only a modest impact on most prices, and the Government has provided $12.8 million to the ACCC to crackdown on businesses that seek to gouge their customers by making misleading claims about the impact of putting a price on carbon pollution.

“The ACCC will use its powers under the newly introduced Australian Consumer Law to investigate and prosecute any such business with the power to impose penalties of up to $1.1 million.

“The ACCC will also be helping to educate businesses on their obligations to not make false or misleading statements to consumers about the impact of the carbon price on the prices they charge consumers.

“While we recognise that the vast majority of businesses will do the right thing, the Government has provided this funding to help stop the small number of businesses that may try to take advantage of their customers with false and misleading claims about the impact of the carbon price.

“Instead of giving his endorsement to businesses falsely using the carbon price to jack up their prices, Mr Abbott should come clean with the Australian people and tell them that his plan will cost at least twice as much as the Government’s and will provide no assistance to households.  

“This is yet another example of Mr Abbott’s deceitful scare campaign. Mr Abbott wants to see prices go up for his own short-term political gain. For him to give the green light to businesses to jack up their prices before the carbon price has even been passed by the Parliament is reckless and irresponsible and has the potential to harm businesses and consumers alike.”

13 October 2011

Background

NEIL MITCHELL: We’re getting messages from some businesses already that they expect prices to go up even before the carbon tax is imposed in July next year. Is that a possibility do you think?

TONY ABBOTT: Well look, I don’t think it can be ruled out at all because obviously if you’re going to have very substantial increases in your inputs the tendency is to put prices up in anticipation.

3AW, Wednesday, 12 October 2011

MELISSA DOYLE: Ok. When will we see the dire consequences of this carbon tax that you talk about? You warned us all, when do you think that we’re going to start feeling it?

TONY ABBOTT: Well I think that even before the carbon tax is officially operational some businesses will start putting up their prices because they know that once the carbon tax is there, prices are just going to go up and up and up.

Sunrise, Wednesday, 12 October 2011