As the July 1 date for the launch of carbon pricing draws nearer, we're likely to hear many more businesses saying that they've been forced to raise prices because of it. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reminded business operators that claims about price rises have to be backed by solid, business-specific evidence.
We've noted before that the ACCC has a straightforward approach to this issue: businesses can charge whatever they like, but they can't make misleading claims about the basis for those prices. If a business says that it has put up prices in response to carbon pricing, it needs to have a basis for that.
If a business claims that a price rise is linked to the carbon price, the claim must be truthful and have a reasonable basis. If a business decides to make a claim, it should be based on information that is relevant to that particular business. Businesses should be aware that the ACCC can ask for information to support claims about the carbon price.
The ACCC has issued updated guides for small businesses on what might constitute a reasonable claim, including a series of videos (one of which you can see above).