Hoarding toilet paper back in the early days of the pandemic is starting to look like a financially wise choice, as wholesale toilet paper is the latest item affected by the rising cost of living.
Sorbent, one of Australia’s largest producers of toilet paper and facial tissues, is currently facing a “tremendous challenge” with balancing its production costs and the viability of its toilet paper operation as the company faces a 290 per cent rise in their gas bill.
Speaking to 2GB’s Ben Fordham, Sorbent CEO Steve Nicholson says the company’s new hefty gas bill means shoppers may have to cope with yet another price hike for the essential household item.
Nicholson explained that while increasing the price of their toilet paper for consumers is their “last resort,” they may not be able to avoid it.
“We don’t want to pass on these costs but we’re going to have to … we can’t absorb these costs,” he said.
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Nicholson’s announcement comes after supermarket giant Woolworths offered some relief by announcing a “prize freeze” on everyday essential items.
The price freeze will remain in place until the end of the year and include items such as laundry powder, pasta, flour, sugar, oats, coffee, bread rolls, cans of tuna, and yoghurt.
Australian Food and Grocery Council CEO Tanya Barden recently attributed the rising cost of grocery items to pressure on manufacturers “that is starting to flow through to supermarket shelves”.
“Over the past decade manufacturers have already been dealing with a situation where wholesale prices – the prices they receive for their goods – have risen by less than the cost of their inputs. There has been a lot of absorbing of costs by manufacturers before the impact of the pandemic,” Barden said.
“Adding to this unprecedented COVID disruption, manufacturers are facing increases in global commodity prices as a result of the situation in Ukraine and they are now seeing increases in labour costs.
“There is no longer the ability for manufacturers to continue to absorb those increased costs.”
Sorbent is the latest company to get hit by the cost of living crisis in Australia. Earlier this year, the humble Bunning’s sausage sizzle fell victim to inflation, with the snag and bread combo increasing its prices for the first time in 15 years.
As the cost of living continues to skyrocket it appears seniors are being the hardest hit, with recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealing older Australians are suffering the most from the rising cost of living.
During last month’s Federal Budget announcement, Treasurer Jim Chalmers revealed pensioners would receive a payment boost to keep up with the “skyrocketing” cost of living.
An extra $33 billion will be divided amongst pensioners and other social security payments recipients over the next four years.
With inflation expected to hit 7.75 per cent by the end of the year, Chalmers said the budget has been tailored to reflect the current economic climate.
“Inflation is the primary influence on this budget. It guides our approach to cost-of-living relief. It guides our approach to targeted investments in a stronger, more resilient economy,” the Treasurer said.
“This will be a family-friendly budget which recognises that our pressures on the economy come from around the world, but they’re felt around the kitchen table.
“It will be a responsible budget. It will be solid, sensible and suited to the times because when you’ve got all of this uncertainty around the world, the best possible response is a responsible budget at home and that’s what this will be.”