The Commerce Commission inquiry into supermarkets must look at the Government’s role in price increases, National’s Commerce and Consumer Affairs spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“During the lockdown the Government refused to allow local butchers or fruit and vege shops to open, effectively handing a duopoly to large supermarket chains.
“Through its term the Government has continued to add more costs onto businesses through fuel tax increases and sharp increases to the minimum wage. It has now said it will hike costs on businesses by doubling sick leave, imposing 1970s-style employment laws and adding another public holiday at a cost to Kiwi businesses of $2.8b per year.
“These cost increases added by the Government will inevitably mean fewer jobs and higher prices for consumers.
“About $2.8 billion of extra costs are about to be served onto businesses and this will flow through to higher prices to consumers.
“We support consumers paying a fair price for their groceries, and the Government has a role to play in this.
“Rather than waiting a year for the inquiry, the Government can do something to help consumers and every single business in New Zealand now by finding ways to reduce costs on them, not piling more on.
“Lowering costs to businesses will lead to greater affordability for consumers, that’s where the Government’s focus should be.”
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