Labour’s bill to stamp out price gouging must pass before summer recess

29 May 2023

Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash has urged Government to fast-track Labour’s bill to tackle price gouging.

Deputy Nash said:

“According to figures published by Kantar, the cost of a basket of groceries is 16.5% higher today than it was this time last year. It’s as clear as day, the large retailers are making a quick buck while working people struggle to keep the essentials on the table.

“Earlier this month we saw the farcical result of Minister Richmond meeting with the Retail Forum – absolutely nothing changed. It’s shameful and it’s this secretive behaviour that retailers are using to stiff people at the check outs.

“I have been campaigning for some time now on possible price gouging in the food and grocery sector and one thing that has become very clear to me, is that we have a serious lack of transparency when it comes to examining the profits and price-setting practices of giant retailers.

“Today it’s reported that the UK government has lost its patience with the big supermarkets and are set to impose price caps.

“Even the Tories are taking action while all we get from this government on high prices at the checkout are empty pledges that the cost of groceries will come down at some undetermined point in the future.

“Labour’s Bill would arm the Competition and Consumer Protection agency with real power to tackle this outrageous behaviour and act in the best interests of the consumer. For so many, a trip to the checkout is more dreaded than a trip to the dentist. The watchdog for consumers must have real teeth.

“If dominant and secretive retailers are not price gouging, then they have nothing to fear from this bill, but if they are, the new legislation will empower the CCPC to bring them to book.

“Failure to cooperate with a CCPC analysis or providing false information will carry a sanction from fines, up to a five-year prison sentence.

“Profits are rising for the retailers at a time when real incomes are falling for working people. We are demanding the fast-tracking of Labour’s Consumer and Consumer Protection (Excessive Pricing) Act 2023 before the Oireachtas rises for the summer.”

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