Australian pubs warned

Hoteliers who haven't passed on tax cuts face possible fines

June 11, 2001 - Australian officials have begun to lean on pubs and clubs who have failed to pass on beer excise cuts enacted in April.


The owners of up to 70 pubs face $10 million fines and court action. The hoteliers have two weeks to explain to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission why their prices have not fallen.

ACCC chairman Professor Allan Fels has promised to wipe out beer price exploitation. "We have warned people about price exploitation in the past and we are continuing to pursue this," he said.

The Daily Telegraph first reported that hoteliers were slow to pass on the savings. After consumers complained, the ACCC wrote to 700 establishments. Many of the 630 explained that Easter stockpiles had caused the delays, while other said they had not boosted their prices when the taxes were first enacted.

The 70 that have not replied could be fined, made to apologize to customers or sell beer at a discount for a set period.

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