By Claire Reilly

The ACCC has issued a warning to businesses regarding the impact of the Federal Government’s new carbon pricing scheme, saying that companies must not falsely claim price increases are the result of the scheme if that is not the case.

Meeting with business and community leaders in Western Australia today, ACCC chairman Rod Sims launched a new guide for businesses regarding carbon price claims, saying it was vital that companies knew their responsibilities when it came to the new scheme.

“The ACCC is launching this guide to assist business in understanding their rights and obligations when making claims about the impact of a carbon price,” said Sims.

“Business costs increase all the time, and businesses are free to set their own prices. However, if a business chooses to raise their prices they should not misrepresent this as a result of the carbon price when it is not the case.

“This is not new – the message is simple: if you are going to make a claim, you need to make sure it is right.”

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The Carbon Price Claims guide for businesses offers information to businesses of all sizes regarding the implementation of the government’s Carbon Pricing Mechanism. Under Australian Consumer Law, the ACCC is able to investigate businesses’ claims about the impact of the carbon price and issue substantiation notices that require businesses to provide supporting information for their claims.

Sims said the claims guide would help to inform businesses and the ACCC would continue its dialogue with businesses as the scheme is rolled out.

“We’ll be consulting on our guidance as we go, over the next few months, and adjusting it to address questions and issues as they become apparent, including on industry or sector-specific subjects,” said Sims.