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Grocery prices: Rudd to tackle cost of living.



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Media Statement Senator Helen Polley Labor Senator for Tasmania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11 JULY 2007

GROCERY PRICES: RUDD TO TACKLE COST OF LIVING

Labor Senator for Tasmania, Helen Polley has welcomed measures that would help ease the financial pressures being felt by families at the check-out counter.

Kevin Rudd today announced plans that would see the consumer price watchdog monitor grocery prices for the first time. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) already monitors the price of other household costs such as petrol, utilities and bank fees.

“John Howard has lost touch if he thinks Tasmanian families have ‘never been better off’,” Senator Polley said.

“Working with TasWatch, the consumer price watch group, showed me how important it is to monitor prices. Balancing a household budget is getting harder and harder with grocery bills, child care, petrol prices and housing.”

Under Kevin Rudd’s Plan a Federal Labor Government will:

• Strengthen the role of the ACCC to monitor supermarket prices to make sure that families are getting a fair deal; and

• Direct the ACCC to conduct a National Grocery Pricing Inquiry to report to the Government within six months, taking submissions from individuals, consumer groups, retailers, businesses along the supply chain and other interested parties.

The ACCC will also set up a dedicated website to publish this pricing snapshot. This act will serve to increase transparency in the market place and exert greater competitive pressure on the retail market.

“It’s about time a political leader offered real and practical solutions to problems that face everyday families,” Senator Polley said.

For more information please contact Umesh Ratnagobal on 0438 003 328