Watchdog warns business on power cheating
Source: smh, 8 November 2013
The head of Australia's consumer watchdog insists that electricity bills should drop quickly after the repeal of the carbon tax - warning businesses not to claim they are unable to pass on the full savings to consumers.
Electricity prices went up fairly quickly on the way up and they will go down fairly immediately on the way down.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims told Fairfax Media that the ACCC was well prepared to ensure power companies did not profiteer from the repeal of the tax, scheduled for July next year if the Abbott government can get its legislation passed.
''It's not a massively complicated process,'' Mr Sims said. ''Electricity prices went up fairly quickly on the way up and they will go down fairly immediately on the way down.''
Armed with a team of analysts scrutinising the impact of the carbon tax repeal, the ACCC will levy fines of $1.1 million if companies are found to have pocketed the savings.
A number of business groups warned this week that prices might not fall as much as forecast, claiming they had absorbed some of the impact of the tax when it was introduced and should not be expected to pass on the entire decrease if it were removed.