Consumers make sacrifices due to higher grocery prices, says ACCC

(Source: Bigstock)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is urging more consumers to participate in its survey on household spending as the consumer watchdog investigates the pricing practices of supermarkets.

According to initial survey responses, some Australians have been skipping or sacrificing meals to feed their children.

Moreover, many younger Australians and low-income households are spending up to 25 per cent of their net income on groceries, with some of them saying they now substitute fresh foods with frozen and reduce spending on non-essential items.

The ACCC has already received more than 13,000 responses for the survey ahead of its closing on April 2.

“Taking into account the demographics of those who have already responded, we particularly want to hear from more adults under the age of 30, people for whom English is not their first language, and people in rural and regional parts of Australia,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

“Having responses that reflect the whole community’s experience will help us to identify the right issues that need to be explored more deeply in our inquiry. Findings from the consumer survey will be included as part of the ACCC’s interim report, due by the end of August.”

Earlier, the Greens party proposed a Bill to introduce divestiture powers into Australian competition law, but faced opposition from retailers.

The Greens said the Bill would give Australian courts and competition regulators the power to smash the supermarket duopoly, therefore benefiting consumers.

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