Emerson reforming grocery sector

The Rudd governments sole free marketeer received a promotion in the re-shuffle. Craig Emerson now has the Competition and Consumer Affairs portfolio. He intends to further open up the sector to competition:

”(There is a) lot of good policy work to do here as part of the overall economic reform agenda of the Rudd government and I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Dr Emerson told ABC television.

Through the government’s efforts to promote competition, people become “mean and lean” in the marketplace which creates prosperity, he said.

“The history of Australia has shown that where industries are … protected by high tariff barriers, they tend to become inefficient. Where they are open to competition, then it brings out the best in them.’……

When asked about community concerns surrounding the fuel and grocery markets, Dr Emerson said he could guarantee as much competition in those two sectors as possible.

The government was pushing ahead with reforms including planning and approval processes for supermarkets – an outcome of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry into grocery prices.

A while ago he had this to say:

But now mysticism and superstition are making a comeback. Their revival began in the ’80s with attacks on economic rationalism. Rational economic thinking was condemned in favour of economic irrationalism: ongoing protectionism, deficit financing by printing money, maintaining airlines and banks in public ownership and expanding the role of the state in the commercial world through clever devices such as WA Inc and the Tricontinental merchant bank..

Unfortunately I suspect his career will hit a brick wall with Rudd as PM.

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