Most people who shop at Hong Kong's two big supermarket chains know the supermarkets fiddle with the prices. I have noticed this fiddling for a long time and have written about it. The supermarkets pretend some items are on sale but it's just a fiddling of the prices. They put a crossed-out higher amount on the price tag but sell it at the normal price to dupe (fool, trick) you into believing the item is on sale. They sometimes even sell the item at a higher price than normal. Another trick is to put a crossed-out higher amount on the price tag, then dupe you into believing if you buy two, you will save money.
But the fact is you will still be paying the normal price even if you buy two and pay a higher price if you buy one. The Consumer Council is a toothless tiger with no legal powers to punish the supermarkets for scamming the people. That's why the Consumer Council's bark is worse than its bite. The two supermarket chains have been raking it in during the coronavirus pandemic. Yet our government has given them hundreds of millions of dollars in wage subsidies even though the supermarkets have no plans to fire staff. A fiddle is a musical instrument. It is the same as a violin. But to "fiddle" someone means to cheat someone or to do something dishonest. To "scam" someone has a similar meaning.
If your "bark is worse than your bite" it means you make a lot of threatening noises but do not take any real action. The Consumer Council has held press conferences exposing the fiddling by supermarkets but that's all it can do. The expression "raking it in" means making a lot of money. People criticized the government for giving large amounts of wage subsidies to supermarkets that are raking it in. The supermarkets have agreed to give some money back to consumers through a lucky draw and discounts. They should give all the money back. The government should not have given them any subsidies.
但事實是，即使你買兩件貨品，你還是在付平日的價錢，若你只買一件的話，你是付一個較高的價格。消委會是隻無牙老虎，沒有法律權力去懲罰這些欺詐（scamming）市民的超市。因此，消委會只是雷聲大雨點小（bark is worse than its bite）。兩間連鎖超級市場在新冠肺炎疫情期間豬籠入水（raking it in）。然而，我們的政府還是給予他們數以億元計的工資補貼，即使超市並無計劃要裁員。A fiddle是種樂器，即小提琴；但 to“fiddle”someone的意思是去欺騙某人，或弄虛作假。To“scam”someone的意思亦相近。
若你的“bark is worse than your bite”，意即你在虛張聲勢，發出嚇人的聲響，卻沒有實際的行動。消委會曾召開新聞發佈會，揭露這些超市如何弄虛作假（fiddling），但它所能做的就只有這些了。習語raking it in意即發大財、大撈一筆。人們批評政府在超市發大財（raking it in）的時候還向他們發大筆工資補貼，而超市則同意會將部份金錢，用抽獎和折扣優惠的形式去回饋消費者。他們理應將那筆錢全數奉還。政府不應給予他們任何補貼。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧