Speaking after today’s Committee stage of the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill Sinn Féin’s Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín TD said it is clear the government remains on the side of the big retailers at the cost of Irish suppliers and smaller stores.
The Meath West TD said:
“Sinn Féin is not opposed to the merger of the National Consumer Agency and Competition Authority however we remain concerned that the new agency will not be adequately resourced to fully maximise its enhanced enforcement powers.
“Disappointingly the Minister did little to assuage my serious concerns about the ability of the legislation to safeguard media diversity.
“Whilst the Bill provides for the regulating of the grocery sector to deal with existing sharp practices and an imbalance of power between suppliers the large retailers, it is Sinn Fein’s view that the legislation does not go far enough.
“Providing for mandatory contracts that suppliers can choose to opt out is just one way to rebalance the supplier retailer relationship as is the copper-fastening of an end to the hello money practice that still remains.
“Continued refusal by the large grocery retailers to disclose annual profits made in Ireland has long been a bugbear of not only suppliers but consumers as well, and could be easily addressed through this piece of legislation.
“There also needs to be a clear distinction made between the large retailers and smaller independent stores in the application of the regulations.”