An Australian comedian is urging shoppers to do their national duty and steal from Woolworths in a bizarre response to rising prices and inflation.
Melbourne comedian Fergus Neal encouraged fellow Aussies to steal a ‘damn’ head of lettuce from the supermarket giant as a means of combating the rising cost of living.
Fergus, who is in his 20s, made the petition in a video shared on social media on Thursday, claiming inflation is being used by Woolworths as a ‘smoke screen’ as an excuse to drive up prices.
“Next time you’re in Woolworths, do your Australian duty and steal a goddamn lettuce,” Fergus said.
“Because Woolworths knows, as the European banks discovered, that it is not wage increases that drive inflation, but increases in corporate profits.”
Melbourne comedian Fergus Neal (pictured) urged fellow Australians to steal a head of lettuce from Woolworths in response to inflation and the rising cost of living
Fergus claims costs have risen due to supply chain issues and energy prices are being passed on to consumers despite major companies making record profits.
“Inflation is being used as a smokescreen so that Woolworths can increase their $2bn a year profit margins rather than easily absorb costs associated with supply chain issues and energy prices,” said Fergus.
The Reserve Bank knows that companies are doing this and their solution is to curb your purchasing power by requiring that wages do not rise while interest rates do.
“Your purchasing power is being eroded so the purchasing power of corporate CEOs isn’t.”
Fergus’ video has been viewed more than 37,000 times and received more than 150 comments, with many Aussies sharing their disdain for major supermarket chains.
“I’ve stopped shopping at Woolworths (or other big companies) altogether, they can go straight away,” one person commented.
“And people are trying to say that corporate greed isn’t real, so many people are literally defending the government and big corporations bending everyone over,” another person wrote.
“I’m really so pissed off at all those companies that cried about losing profits due to Covid, but in turn MAKE RECORD PROFITS,” agreed a third.
“If no manned checkouts are open and I have to do the work myself, I’ll take something for the effort.”
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Woolworths for comment.
Daily Mail Australia does not approve of Neal’s call for Australians to steal from Woolworths or any other supermarket chain. Theft is a criminal offense and is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years.
Minor cases of shoplifting (involving goods worth less than $150) are handled by the police, with violators being notified of theft on the spot.
The bizarre call from Fergus comes after the Reserve Bank of Australia (pictured) raised interest rates for the 11th time in the past 12 months in a bid to fight inflation
Fergus’ call comes after the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates for the eleventh time in the past twelve months in a bid to fight inflation.
The Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage point on May 2, bringing the cash rate to an 11-year high of 3.85 percent.
The move goes against financial markets, which had almost unanimously predicted that the RBA would leave interest rates on hold.
The RBA has also left open the possibility of further rate hikes, with Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe describing inflation at 7 percent in March as still too high.
Despite rising interest rates and the rising cost of living, major supermarkets have posted record profits.
In February, Woolworths posted a profit of $907 million for the first half of its fiscal year 2022 to 2023 – an increase of 14 percent over the previous year.
Brad Banducci, CEO of Woolworths, said that despite continued supply chain challenges, most customer metrics improved during the first half of the financial year.
“Our first half result benefited from a focus on improving our customers’ shopping experience, restoring our business rhythm, the non-recurrence of material COVID costs in the prior year and strong seasonal trading,” said Mr. Banducci.
“Cost of living pressures are being felt by our customers due to industry-wide inflation and helping all our customers get their Woolies value remains our number one priority.”
Fergus claimed inflation is being used by Woolworths (pictured) as a ‘smoke screen’ as an excuse to drive up prices, despite the supermarket giant posting a profit of $907m in the first half of FY 2022/23
Supermarket competitor Coles (pictured) posted half-year earnings of $20.8 billion in total revenues and earnings of $616 million
Fellow grocery juggernaut Coles released half-year results that revealed total sales of $20.8 billion and profits of $616 million — up 17.1 percent.
The supermarket’s total sales were $12.4 million less than its competitor, while Woolworths brought in $291 million more in profit.
Qantas also posted a profit of $1.4 billion, while the Commonwealth Bank of Australia reported a whopping $5.15 billion in profit – up 9 percent.
Research from the Australia Institute found that excessive corporate profits – not Australian wages – were to blame for the skyrocketing cost of living.
The think tank argued that corporate profits are responsible for 69 percent of inflation, which is above the Reserve Bank’s target range of 2 to 3 percent.
Dr. Australia Institute economist Jim Stanford argued that without excessive price increases and corporate profits, the RBA’s nine consecutive rate hikes would have been unlikely.
Australian Council of Trade Union Secretary Sally McManus said there was a ‘greed price spiral’.
Australian Council of Trade Union Secretary Sally McManus (pictured) said research shows excessive corporate profits – not Australian wages – are driving inflation in what she called a “greed-price spiral”.
“Inflation is fueled by these companies pushing prices much higher than necessary,” Ms McManus said.
Wage growth is clearly not contributing to inflation. Any wage increases in 2022 and early 2023 have been swallowed up by price increases and interest rate hikes.
“Supermarkets and big companies are raising prices more than necessary, and the workers are feeling the pain.
“Large corporations know that people have no choice but to pay the prices they’ve set for basic necessities like groceries and energy, and businesses are making record profits and driving up inflation.”