The Victorian Greens are pressing the Victorian Labor Government to enforce price regulations on everyday supermarket goods to prevent major players like Coles and Woolworths from engaging in price gouging and exploiting financially struggling Victorians.
The Greens argue that price gouging is a significant factor behind the rapidly increasing cost of living, and they believe it’s the government’s duty to step in and assist Victorians who are facing financial difficulties.
A recent survey carried out by the Victorian Greens has unveiled the distressing consequences of the cost-of-living crisis on Victorians. Approximately 70 percent of the survey’s respondents reported that their mental health had been negatively affected by the financial pressures of daily life. Additionally, over 60 percent of respondents indicated that they had postponed seeking medical care because they couldn’t afford it.
The survey, which gathered responses from over 1,200 people, revealed the following key findings:
- The most significant financial challenges for respondents were bills (49.3%), food (46.7%), and rent (41.7%).
- Healthcare costs, including the ability to access mental health services, were a notable concern, with 21% of respondents struggling to afford these services. This figure increased to 30% among people aged 18 – 34.
- Respondents expressed a desire for profit-driven corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and called for direct government intervention to curb the soaring costs of food, bills, and rent.
Sam Hibbins MP, the Victorian Greens’ spokesperson on economic justice, emphasized that the survey results demonstrate the profound impact of the cost-of-living crisis on individuals. He argued that there is a clear case for stronger government action to make food more affordable. He suggested that the government could start by addressing the dominance of Coles and Woolworths in the supermarket industry to prevent them from profiting unfairly by raising food prices. The Greens are also considering the establishment of a parliamentary inquiry into food affordability.
Hibbins pointed out that governments worldwide are taking various actions to compel supermarkets to lower prices, such as imposing price caps on essential items, restricting retailer profits, or using the threat of price controls to encourage supermarkets to reduce prices.
In summary, the Victorian Greens are advocating for government intervention to tackle the cost-of-living crisis in Victoria, focusing on the implementation of price controls on essential supermarket items and ensuring that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. They argue that such intervention is necessary to support Victorians grappling with the rising cost of living.