Speaking in the Dáil today on the merging of the National Consumer Agency and Competition Authority, Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín TD described the government’s decision not to include a Code of Conduct for the grocery sector as disappointing.
The Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said:
“Jobs and consumers must be protected but so too must suppliers. It is disappointing that the grocery sector did not sign up to a voluntary Code of Conduct, but that said it is hardly surprising. It would be a rare occurrence for a sector operating in a profit environment to volunteer itself to regulation.
“It is disappointing that the Jobs Minister has decided to opt out of a Code of Conduct choosing instead incremental enabling provisions with an initial bare minimum approach. Sharp practices remain in the grocery sector despite the significant profits of the main players. All suppliers are asking for is fair play and using consumers as an excuse for anything less is simply disingenuous.
“Whilst the legislation to merge the two agencies will put the relationship of the new Commission and the various Regulators on a statutory footing this will be limited to co-operation in the areas of consumer protection and welfare and competition and not extended to oversight or enforcement.
“This will be deeply disappointing for householders impacted by the introduction of water charges who had hoped to new Commission would have enhanced legislative powers to protect their interests and welfare.”