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New law defends the ‘little guy’ against big end of town ‘murder’

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Turnbull government is moving with a new ‘fair go for small business’ law that’s got the big end of town crying ‘unfair’!!

The ‘big enders’ are claiming the law will lead to lawsuits, put pressure on household incomes and damage the free market.

Oh spare us the tears! This is an environment where big businesses have been caught colluding with unions to reduce workers’ wages thereby giving big business a competitive advantage over small business. See here and here.

So, ‘big enders’, stop the spin and let’s talk policy! The new law is the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Bill 2016. It’s being called the ‘effects test’. It’s easy to understand. We made a submission to the Inquiry into the Bill. We described it as comparing murder with manslaughter. We say:
‘Murder’ requires intent to kill. ‘Manslaughter’ is behaviour that has the ‘effect’ of death. The current competition laws require proof that a big business intended to kill competition by abusing its market power. The effects test is like a manslaughter test, easier to prove than murder but albeit still a very strong test.’
The new law will still enable big business to compete, even aggressively, but they’ll have to be careful about ‘killing’ all competition. That might be bad for big business monopolists but it’s good for competition, small business and all Australians. We need competition to be alive, not dead.

Labor has been opposing the Bill. That’s embarrassing for them. It makes them look like they support big businesses that collude with Labor’s union funders against the interests of all Australians. Very messy look!!!

The Turnbull government has stood firm on this one. They have rejected attempts to put a clause in the Bill (mandatory factors) that would have neutered the Bill. That’s good.

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