“The New South Wales government’s plan to impose country of origin labels on seafood in restaurants will harm competition, raise prices and add to Australia’s $176 billion annual cost of red tape,” said Daniel Wild, research fellow for free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

Last week NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant announced that the state government would require all imported fish and fish products used in restaurants in NSW to be labelled according to their country of origin.

“The government is openly saying this plan is aimed at protecting the domestic fishing industry, which would be achieved by restricting competition at the expense of consumers.

“Many restaurants already disclose where their fish comes from. People are free to visit these restaurants should they choose.

“Ultimately smaller, lower-cost restaurants and those who visit them will be hurt by this plan for yet more red tape,” said Mr Wild.

Recent IPA research revealed that red tape costs the Australian economy $176 billion each year in foregone economic output.

“Reducing red tape is the only way to deliver the economic growth, job creation and prosperity that our country desperately needs” said Daniel Wild.