Will the Carbon Price Increase Your Prices

Posted on by Mark Fernandez

 

The ACCC warns about insincere claims of Carbon Tax related price inflation

All businesses are free to set their own prices and they can increase prices as necessary and as they see fit.

However, the legal obligations not to mislead or deceive will always apply to representations and statements that businesses make about their prices.  

This means that if you make a claim about the impact of the carbon price on your prices, that claim needs to be truthful and have a reasonable basis.

In other words a business that attributes a price increase to the carbon price must be able to substantiate that claim.

On 31 July 2011 the Treasurer issued directions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to ensure that businesses are not making false or misleading claims that link the price increases of their goods and services to the carbon price.

A business that makes a good faith, reasonable approach to calculating the carbon price for their business has nothing to fear from the ACCC.  However businesses seeking to mislead consumers by making false price claims about the carbon price can expect a call from the ACCC.

To assist business in understanding their rights and obligations when making claims about the carbon price and in consultation with industry, the ACCC has prepared an updated Carbon price claims – guide for business and a series of web videos: Carbon price claims and your business.  Visit www.accc.gov.au/carbon
The ACCC’s role does not include formally monitoring, setting or restricting price rises.  The ACCC’s role is to ensure that consumers and businesses are not misled or deceived by incorrect or false representations.

To make it easier for small business and consumers to alert the ACCC if they become aware of doubtful claims, the ACCC has established a
Carbon Price Claims Hotline.
Consumers or businesses can contact the ACCC if they think a carbon price claim is false.

Suspect claims can also be reported on 1300 303 609.

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