Aussie Gov Says They'll Fine Anyone Who Blames Carbon Tax For Price Increases, Despite Carbon Tax Causing Price Increases

Chris | InformationLiberation
May. 27, 2012

Australia's new carbon tax is going to cause costs to rise on everything across the board, it's a massive new tax on energy, therefore no industries will be able to escape the rising costs.

That said, the Australian government has declared it's illegal to "wrongly" blame the carbon tax for price increases, and they say those who do will face fines up to $1.1 million dollars.

Via The Daily Telegraph:
SHOPS and restaurants could face fines up to $1.1 million if waiters or sales staff wrongly blame the carbon tax for price rises or exaggerate the impact.

And households are being warned to watch out for telephone scammers offering to deposit carbon tax compensation into their bank accounts.

The prices watchdog, the ACCC, will today launch its countdown to the July 1 carbon tax with a special focus on helping small businesses understand their obligations and consumers to be vigilant for false claims.

It is releasing internet videos to help business, a 16-page guide and has set up a dedicated website

ACCC deputy chairman Dr Michael Schaper told the Herald Sun companies were entitled to increase their prices and did not have to justify or explain why.

"It is business as usual,'' Dr Schaper said.

But if they blamed the carbon tax they must be able to prove it and not use it as a cover for other price increases related to wages, rent or stock.

"If a business claims that a price is linked to the carbon price, that claim must be truthful and have a reasonable basis,'' he said.

Dr Schaper said the warning applied to comments made by staff over the phone, on the shop floor or in meetings.

It also covers advertising, product labels, websites, invoices, contracts and contract negotiations.

The ACCC has the power to force a business to substantiate that a price rise has been caused by the carbon tax.

The guide explains what businesses can and cannot do, and provides a checklist to follow.

Dr Schaper said businesses must be sure price rises were "based on your own costs''.
The idea you can somehow defend yourself and "rightly" blame your price increases on the carbon tax is nonsense. The law says your claims must be "truthful" and have a "reasonable basis."

Who determines what is truthful, and who determines what is reasonable? Not the business owner, that's for sure.

The hidden costs of a new tax can spread in entirely unpredictable ways, taxes are frequently passed onto consumers, other times they may ultimately fall on producers, there's no way to know exactly who will be ultimately paying these taxes, so there is no way to ultimately say what the "truthful" cost of these new taxes are on anything.

What we know for certain is costs will rise, but don't dare say it, or you could be fined $1.1 million dollars.

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