Despite the threat of a $1.1 million fine from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), some Aussie entities continue to gouge residents by blaming the two-week-old carbon tax for large increase in prices.
After the ACCC received complaints about bakery Brumby's blaming the carbon price of $23 per tonne for planned increase in pastry and bread prices and two solar panel makers warning of up to 400 per cent boost in electricity prices, the carbon tax was pointed as the culprit behind the $55 charge made by a Melbourne cemetery.
Reports said that the amount was imposed on the Maliki family, who buried a male elderly relative at Springvale Cemetery. The kin died on June 30 and was buried early last week.
Erica Maliki and her family were informed by operators of the cemetery that the cost of the burial plot went up due to carbon tax.
"I thought to myself, 'What carbon could possibly be used by putting a man in a grave?" Ms Maliki was quoted by Nine News.
"All they did was put the dirt back in. How can they charge us a carbon tax for burying someone?" she said.
Her son, Zaid, quoted the cemetery's receptionist who told another relative that "even the dead won't escape the carbon tax."
The ACCC said it would investigate the complaint of the Malikis. A state government spokeswoman said all cemetery operates need department approval before increasing their prices and the department has not received any submission from the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust to hike their fees on account of the carbon tax.
Cemeteries are not among the less than 300 entities liable for the carbon tax, but the funeral industry warned of indirect price hikes for burials and cremations due to higher energy prices and councils passing on their carbon tax costs. John Tribe, chief executive of Southern Metropolitan, said the company will reassess the cost of cremation and would apply for an increase with the proper state department if it warrants a price hike. However, he said a submission would only be made in the next six to nine months.
Rebecca Atkins, communications manager of Southern Metropolitan CemeteriesTrust which runs the Springvale Cemetery, said the charging of $55 as carbon tax was a mistake. She said the company is investigating who among its employees committed the error.
"There is no prince increase due to the carbon tax. Our fees go up every year on 1 July and that's in line with CPI and they have done that for 30-odd years," Ms Atkins told The Australian.
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