Up until a few weeks ago the Commerce Commission had power to ensure fair trade and restrict the formation of monopolies which eventually result in high prices due to lack of competition.
It currently has no power to stop the terribly destructive business restrictions which are enabling monopolies and destroying other business.
In short the very few supermarket chains have been enabled to take over the business of a large number of wine shops, butchers and green grocers. The way these small business’s have been treated by the Government goes against the core values and entire purpose of the Commerce Commissions purpose.
Some will defend this as a necessary evil for the greater good and argue that it is only for 4 weeks anyway.
Firstly, it is not necessary. Why is going into a wine shop to buy wine more dangerous than going into a supermarket? Its not and the arguments that it is are rubbish.
Secondly this is not a temporary penalty applied to these business’s, it will permanently restrict competition. People who historically purchased from these outlets will be less likely to return having become conditioned to supermarket shopping. Even worse they will in many cases be unable to return because the small business has closed down due to losses incurred in the lockdown.
And even worse, the dreams of those small business owners have been shattered and faith in fair governance is destroyed.
The Government needs to urgently compensate these business’s for the losses it has unfairly forced on them before resentment builds. There’s going to be some very unhappy people when these small business people are being interogated by liquidators, paying up under personal guarantees while watching the supermarket owners enjoy their new Aston’s and Riviera’s
Does anyone even care? I’ll go back to eat grass, drink water and walk! Grumpy Goat.