Following numerous complaints by consumers of excessive price increases in supermarkets and other establishments, Cabinet has instructed the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) to carry out checks.
Making the announcement Wednesday June 13 at Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator, the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said the CAC already has teams in the field, “and wherever it is found that consumers are being exploited, we will name them (the establishments) and shame them”.
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She emphasised that “we ought not to be exploiting this situation…people have it hard already, and there is no need for anyone to add excessive increases to prices."
Minister Falconer said the CAC has reported that it has been receiving calls from consumers about high prices, hoarding, and other unfair practices.
She noted that most of the complaints surround items such as rum, chicken feed, patties, flavoured milk products, raw chicken, and baby chicks, with the majority of the calls having to do with rum and food items.
In his closing statement on the 2012/2013 Budget Debate in Gordon House recently, Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, indicated that the Government would ask the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) to monitor some food items to ensure that the lowered General Consumption tax (GCT) benefits are passed on to consumers.
He said the Government is also asking consumers to “reject unjustified price increases,” report instances of questionable prices to the CAC, and to shop around.
Dr. Phillips said that since the announcement and implementation of revenue measures for the fiscal year, “unfortunately, we are already witnessing situations where prices on some food items have been unjustifiably increased and this is outrageous”.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Senior Reporter