Ed Husic, Federal MP for Chifley's released a statement following this morning's release of the terms of reference for the Federal IT Pricing Inquiry. He's keen for everyone to have a say — but notes that this includes businesses charging the prices that they do. The inquiry is very much Husic's baby, so it's not surprising that he'd have an opinion on it. On his web site, Husic notes that
"For too long, businesses and consumers have asked: why does it sometimes cost up to 80 per cent more to simply download software in Australia compared to overseas. The problem’s been IT vendors seem unwilling to explain why software and hardware costs more in Australia."
He's optimistic about the possibilities of the inquiry
"This Inquiry gives an opportunity for businesses and consumers to have their say on IT prices."
But notes that it's not just a one-way street; if businesses can justify their prices, that's fair enough
"But it also gives IT firms a chance to educate the public on the factors they take into account when shaping their pricing approach. No one doubts that IT firms should be able to recover legitimate costs but the Australian consumer shouldn’t shoulder an unfair share of the pricing load. With the Federal Government investing about $2b in IT procurement, there’s a definite need to ensure we get value for money in this spend."
Husic's also notably keen for everyone to have their say.
"This just reflects the simple fact that with technology weaving its way into our lives in so many ways, people from all walks of life should have their say on this issue. I particularly hope that small businesses and young people take the chance to make a submission and have their concerns heard."