Queensland Consumers Association Makes Submission to Senate Cost of Living Inquiry

The Queensland Consumers Association has made a submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living which is inquiring into:

  1. the cost of living pressures facing Australians;
  2. the Government’s fiscal policy response to the cost of living;
  3. ways to ease cost of living pressures through the tax and transfer system; 
  4. measures to ease the cost of living through the provision of Government services; and
  5. any other related matter.

The closing date for submissions is 12 May 2023 and the reporting date is 30 November 2023

The submission says that retailers should provide better and more unit pricing (pricing per standardised unit of measure) to assist consumers to more easily compare the prices of products sold in packages and loose, and thus to save money and better manage the cost of living crisis. It also says that doing this would result in very large on-going benefits for consumers and the economy and that the initial and ongoing costs would be low.

The submission requests that its final report the Committee recommend that:

1. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) adopt a more proactive approach to monitoring and enforcing retailer compliance with the Retail Grocery Industry (Unit Pricing) Code of Conduct.

2. The Commonwealth government commission an independent, national review of the unit pricing (pricing of products per standardised unit of measure) system in order to:

  • Assess the effectiveness of the current unit pricing and other relevant legislation (including measurement legislation) and its administration,
  • Identify opportunities to increase the effectiveness and the scope of the current legislation and its administration.

3. More resources be provided to inform consumers about unit pricing and its uses.

The submission (#16) is available at https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Cost_of_Living/costofliving/Submissions

Ian Jarratt, Queensland Consumers Association