Assistant Treasure Bill Shorten in his survey of one has conformed what we all know to be true. Retail and service providers have failed to pass on the win fall of Australia’s high dollar to consumers. Prices of goods and services have not come down down down as the cost of purchase and profits from overseas services become cheaper.
A decade ago when the Australian dollar was low in value businesses were quick to pass on the costs of petrol and overseas manufactured goods to the public. Petrol broke though the one dollar a liter barrier and the costs of goods increased in compassion to the the Australian Dollar. Overseas travel became that much more expensive as the Australian dollar had to work twice as hard.
Today the opposite is the case. The Australian Dollar is twice as much in value yet the prices of goods and services has not gone down. Petrol remains high.
The extent of profit taking and opportunism is shown clearly in the English Language testing system. The cost of sitting an IELTS test in Australia is twice that of charged in the United States, UK and Ireland. The profits being paid to the the overseas licencing coping Seek Learning have doubled in value at Australia’s expense. Instead of going up $20 from $310 to $330 the costs of sitting the IELTS test should have gone down.
It is this pocketing of the win fall and the failure to pass on some of the benefits of having a high dollar that has contributed to the decline in retail in Australia. With an in crease in the value of the dollar the cost of buying on line overseas sourced goods and shipping them to Australia has become much much more competitive and consumers are voting with their keyboards boycotting Australian retail outlets.
Add to that the cost of rent in shopping centers or the cost of parking within the City of Melbourne and extended hours parking restrictions apply and the landlords and City Council are also contributing to the economic inflationary pressure impacting retail in Melbourne. Instead of passing on the benefits oif a high dollar small retail outlets have the opportunity to use the win fall profits to off set other high costs associated with running a business in the city. Sure the City Council has discouraged shopping in the CBD. The CBD is no longer the place to shop. Services can be sourced on line and the consumer has to some extent greater choices. But this only applies where there is real competition but in prices and services offered.
organisations like Seek learning’s IELTS have a legislative monopoly. Even though the Department of Immigration and Citizenship have began to recognise other accredited service providers the Skills assessment authorities such as the CPA and others continue to only acept IETLS as the only means of assessing English language requirements. If level of English is the aim of the skills assessment then why are they only prepared to accept IELTS as the only means of assessment. If alternative language assessments are available and accredited then why are not not being recognise.
Bill Shorten like that of many in Australia know all too well the price ripp offs we see day to day.
It is only by exposing the profit takers and subjecting them to real competition that the benefits of a high dollar will be passed on to residents.