Labour will initiate two new market studies:
- Building supplies
Labour will initiate two new market studies to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries and building supplies as the economy recovers from Covid-19.
“In government we initiated a successful market study for fuel that led to swift action to address competition and pricing to help lower prices for consumers,” Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern said.
“Groceries are one of our most regular expenses, and buying or renovating a home is the biggest investment many of us will make in our lifetime, so we want to make sure pricing is fair.
“We are making good progress on easing financial pressure on families, through increasing the minimum wage with a full-time worker earning an extra $126 a week, by introducing the Winter Energy Payment that helps a million Kiwis each winter, rolling out our Families Package and we made visits to the doctor cheaper for more than 600,000 New Zealanders.
“While we focus on keeping people in jobs, and retraining and upskilling to get our economy moving, we want to ensure the cost of living in New Zealand is fair and these market studies have the potential to help, by providing us the information we need to act,” Jacinda Ardern said.
New Zealand has one of the most concentrated grocery retail sectors in the world and a market study will answer questions and concerns raised that Kiwis are paying more than they should.
“Over the past decade the costs of goods and services have gone up and there is a growing belief that New Zealand is becoming less affordable with Kiwis contrasting costs in Australia versus New Zealand,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs spokesperson Kris Faafoi said.
“Housing also plays a vital role in the wellbeing of New Zealanders. Good housing underpins a range of social, economic and health outcomes and we need to ensure that Kiwis have access to affordable and fairly priced housing and building supplies.
“The information collected from these market studies will allow us to put in place any necessary regulatory and policy solutions that ensure consumers are paying a fair price, that innovation in the market is not stifled, and that access and competition are appropriate,” Kris Faafoi said.
Terms of reference for each market study will be developed by the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs if we are re-elected to government, and we expect a market study into supermarkets will be initiated before the end of the year.