Time for transparency in supermarket profits and pricing
Labour finance and enterprise spokesperson Ged Nash has said it is now time for legislative action to force supermarkets to be more transparent on profits and pricing.
Deputy Nash said:
“Ultra-profitable Tesco has been first out of the traps today on their PR campaign to be the first to lower prices across a range of everyday essentials, with other retailers sure to follow.
“The move to reduce prices today prove what we in Labour have been saying all along – that the supermarkets have been price gouging and taking excessive profits and there was room to reduce prices. Government should have been stronger on this.
“While any move to cut prices for customers is welcome shoppers across the country have been fleeced by large and secretive supermarket chains for far too long.
“The Grand Old Duke of York impressions by government Ministers ahead of May’s heavily billed supermarket summit yielded nothing but an embarrassing slap-down from retail chiefs.
“We were told after the government’s climb down that Minister Coveney would usher in moves to make pricing and profits more transparent. He seems to have taken a vow of silence on this pledge ever since.
“In the past year, food prices have sky-rocketed by more than 16% according to Kantar. That’s over double the rate of general inflation with big multiples straining to justify their positions.
“It is still my view that there’s more to be done here. That’s why Labour has published the Excessive Pricing Bill which would, among other things, empower the CCPC to undertake regular deep-market analyses of the supermarket sector, including their profits and pricing policies. Nobody should fear transparency.
“In the meantime, it’s high time that Minister Richmond requested the CCPC to undertake an investigation into potential price gouging and profit-taking in the food market.
“Tesco today are able to make huge cuts on essentials, some products coming down by 33%. As sure as night follows day, other retailers will soon fall in line.
“Why did it have to take sustained political pressure from the Opposition and an outcry from shoppers to make this happen?”