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More probes into GST

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has completed a further four investigations into claims surrounding the introduction of the New Tax System.

The investigations arose out of follow-ups to the complaints to the GST Price Line.

Advanced Hair Studios (Franchising) Pty Ltd, a national hair replacement company, has provided the ACCC with court-enforceable undertakings not to represent that the effect of the new tax system is to increase the prices of hair replacement units by 10 per cent and to implement a trade practices compliance program.

Lincraft has also provided the ACCC with court-enforceable undertakings on behalf of its Custom Made division, which failed to correctly calculate the tax liability on a small number of blind and curtain orders that were delivered prior to July 1. On being advised of the ACCC’s concerns, Lincraft commissioned an extensive external review and undertook to refund to customers inadvertently overcharged.

AC McGrath & Co, a Sydney based motor vehicle dealer, has also provided court-enforceable undertakings in relation to pre-GST advertising for Subaru motor vehicles.

The ACCC was concerned that a newspaper advertisement which stated ‘Beat the July price increases’ on new Subaru motor vehicles was likely to mislead consumers to believe that the price of such vehicles would rise following the introduction of the GST.

Each of the above companies took a responsible approach in dealing with the ACCC’s concerns, recognising that the ACCC’s actions were driven largely by consumer complaints.

l Professor Allan Fels is chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

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