Inquiry into Price Gouging and Unfair Pricing Practices Launched by the ACTU

stop, inflation, man-7241624.jpg
Stop Inflation

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has recently announced an inquiry into price gouging and unfair pricing practices to be chaired by Professor Allan Fells AO.

The announcement comes as many people find themselves sometimes going without basic necessities, a decline in standards of living, and rising cost of living, and just after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or the OECD, released a research report which found that “historically high corporate profits”, rather than wages, was the leading cause for inflation in Australia. With the OECD suggesting corporate profits may account for an average of 51% of inflation in recent years.

The OECD findings are also consistent with research conducted by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. Reacting to the OECD report, Dr. Jim Stanford, Director for the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work had this to say:

“This new OECD research is fully consistent with our earlier research on profit-price inflation, in
terms of both its methodology and its conclusions.”
“Companies in Australia and many other industrial countries have taken advantage of the
disruptions, shortages, and desperation of the pandemic to push up profit margins far beyond
normal levels. In Australia, corporate profits reached their highest share of GDP ever in 2022,
and that has been the leading cause of the current cost-of-living crisis
“Workers are now struggling to catch up to prices and recover the loss in their real wages.
However, the RBA continues to ignore the role of profits in driving prices, while doubling down
on its determination to suppress wage growth.”

The ACTU’s inquiry is currently open for submissions from those affected by price gouging, not-for-profit organisations, think-tanks, and academics. The inquiry itself will focus on:

  • The extent of price gouging facing working people on essential items,
  • The disproportionate effect experienced by cohorts of workers and vulnerable groups, and
  • The effect of price gouging on the safety and mental health of workers providing essential goods and services.
From ACTU,

The report will be received to the ACTU and made publicly available. Submissions can be made here.