CONSUMER WATCHDOG BACKS LABOR’S CALLS FOR HIGHER PENALTIES

ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
MEMBER FOR FENNER 

TIM HAMMOND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PERTH

CONSUMER WATCHDOG BACKS LABOR’S CALLS FOR HIGHER PENALTIES

Rod Sims, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, has warned that the penalties for anti-consumer and anti-competitive conduct are too low.

The ACCC Chairman warns that these penalties are seen by some businesses as a mere “cost of business”. He says the penalties imposed in Australia for anti-competitive conduct are “stunningly lower than those in other comparable jurisdictions”.

The Government continues to ignore the issue, backing big business over consumers.

The ACCC Chairman’s calls are in line with Labor’s plans to increase penalties for firms that contravene the Australian Consumer Law of the Competition and Consumer Act.

Labor wants to increase the penalty for anti-consumer conduct from $1.1 million to $10 million.

For anti-competitive conduct, Labor will require the Court to calculate penalties starting with a base figure: 30 per cent of the annual sales of the relevant product or service, multiplied by the number of years the infringement took place, capped at 10 per cent of annual turnover or $10 million.

The ACCC Chairman noted that “if the base penalty approach was applied in Australia… firms with substantially larger turnovers would generally end up with much higher penalties”.

SATURDAY, 6 MAY 2017