Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has hinted relief for struggling families might come sooner rather than later amid the nation’s continued cost of living crisis.
Albanese appeared on Sunrise on Wednesday, where he was grilled by host Monique Wright about the government review into the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Sunrise star Monique Wright grills Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the show.
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“You will today announce Craig Emerson to lead the 2023/24 Grocery Code of Conduct (review), you’ve warned all options are on the table — (but) why has it taken so long (to announce Emerson as the head of it)? It’s been 100 days since (the review) was announced?” Monique asked.
Albanese said the work would be “ongoing” with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission but touted the benefits of the review, which will provide advice to the government.
Sunrise star Monique Wright grilled Anthony Albanese on the show on Wednesday, during which he hinted at relief for cost-of-living pressures through the supermarket review. Credit: Seven
“What we have now is an independent person coming in, Dr Emerson, to work with the industry, to make recommendations to the government about these issues,” Albanese said.
“No other government before us has done anything like this. What we are saying is that the current industry voluntary code of conduct will be examined to see if we need some form of mandating.”
Albanese said he wanted to ensure cheaper prices at the farm gate for supermarkets were getting passed on to consumers.
“What we want to make sure is when the supermarket chains get goods cheaper off our farmers then those costs (savings) are relayed onto consumers,” Albanese said.
“We want to make sure that consumers benefit.”
The review, announced in October, is expected to examine whether the supermarket industry code — which regulates the conduct of retailers and wholesalers towards suppliers — is designed to help improve standards of business behaviour in the sector.
It may lead the government to strengthen consumer rights.
There are growing concerns about the gap between what farmers earn and supermarket prices as the grocery giants posted billion-dollar profits in 2023.
The supermarket giants are expected to face a grilling when they front a parliamentary inquiry into price gouging, record profits and cost-of-living pressures in the coming months.
Cost-of-living pressures have been one of the biggest political footballs in the country, with Albanese flagging relief for this year’s federal budget.
“Our priority will be to provide cost-of-living relief while taking pressure off inflation,” he said at a press conference in Sydney earlier this month.
“I have asked Treasury and Finance to come up with further propositions that we’ll consider in the lead-up to the May budget this year.”