Bakery franchise Brumby’s has been caught red-handed attempting to blame price rises on the carbon tax, after a letter sent by the company to franchisees was leaked.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned it will be investigating the company over the letter, telling SmartCompany this morning it would be looking into the matter.
According to the correspondence, which is attributed to managing director Deane Priest, Brumby’s tells its franchisees they should start increasing prices as early as June and July, and to “let the Carbon Tax take the blame”.
“After all, your costs will be going up due to it.”
The ACCC said in a statement it will be “making inquiries of Brumby’s”, after spending months warning businesses it would impose fines on any business increasing prices and blaming it on the tax.
“The ACCC would be concerned if any franchisor encouraged or induced its franchisees to make misleading price claims about the impact of the carbon price.”
“The ACCC’s role in respect of carbon pricing is to inform and educate businesses and consumers about their rights and obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act (CCA) and to take enforcement action where required to ensure compliance with the law.”
Climate Change minister Greg Combet has already weighed in on the situation, telling the ABC the government “would Caution Brumby’s to be very careful, because this is exactly the sort of thing the ACCC has been warning about”.
“People can increase their price to the extent that it is justified on the basis of the carbon price impact … but you can’t go around misrepresenting price rises.”
This article first appeared at SmartCompany.