Show same enthusiasm when duty is reduced.

10/07/2017 16:00

It has been brought to the Council’s attention that some traders have already started charging 10 cent tax on plastic bag to consumers at the point of sale which should not be the case.

The traders and supermarkets must wait for the application of the new tax which willcommence from 1 August, 2017 as announced by the Minister of Economy during the budget address.

The Council would like to see same enthusiasm from traders when duty and other taxes arereduced to benefit consumers. It is generally seen that some traders do not act immediately insuch situations yet they are very quick in increasing prices when there is an increase in dutiesand other taxes.

The Council received calls from the consumers regarding the price increase on cigarettes,alcohol/liquor and sugar-sweetened drinks. It was reported that merchants increased the priceof their old stock of goods (cigarettes and alcohol) on which duty was increased after the budgetannouncement on 29 June 2017.

This should not have happened because the new duty rate and other changes relating to the Customs Tariff Act following the budget announcement should apply to goods arriving for the first time in Fiji by ship or aircraft, or on all un cleared cargo after midnight, 29 June, 2017.

While the Council fully supports the cause and encourages consumer cooperation, it however,wishes to remind traders and supermarkets to engage in ethical practices.

Consumers have a social responsibility towards the environment and in exercising theirresponsibility they are urged to use alternative bags and baskets in place of single-use plasticbags. For too long plastic bags have contributed to the environmental pollution further endangering the oceans and marine life.