With three weeks until the start of the carbon tax, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned businesses about making false claims of price increases associated with the carbon price. It says that businesses making claims about cost increases in goods and services need to “do so with a reasonable basis”. While the ACCC notes that businesses are entitled to “increase their profits as they see fit”, the legal obligations to not mislead or deceive still apply in relation to the carbon tax.
The Queensland Farmers Federation (www.qff.org.au) reports farmers will view this statement wryly. The primary production sector has very limited ability to pass on the extra costs of the carbon tax, let alone attempt to “profiteer” from the introduction of this tax. However, it will be important information for farmers to consider as they update inventories and deal with various suppliers, and to ensure that they are fully informed about the various price impacts on their farm inputs.