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National Consumer Agency must monitor falling fuel prices

7 August, 2008

Sinn Féin TD and Enterprise, Trade and Employment Spokesperson Arthur Morgan has called on the National Consumer Agency to closely monitor fuel prices in the coming months, after the price of oil hit a three-month low last night on the New York Stock Exchange.

Deputy Morgan said:

"When oil prices were at their peak, fuel providers and business wasted no time in passing the added expense onto the consumer. Oil prices settled at $118 for the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange last night, recording a three-month record low.

"It is crucial that price reductions in oil are passed onto the consumer and I am calling on the National Consumer Agency to monitor fuel prices in the coming months to ensure that it is not only price hikes that are passed onto the paying public."

The Louth TD also called for business to continue to offer competitive prices to consumers, as it was revealed that the summer sales have contributed to a drop in inflation levels. "Ireland is one of the most expensive states in the world to live in and inflation has been rising unchecked for the last number of years. After a month of summer sales we've see a rise in consumer purchases and a drop in inflation.

"The National Consumer Agency has a significant role to play in ensuring competitive consumer pricing and in turn the Irish exchequer. By ensuring declining fuel costs are passed onto the consumer, stable levels of goods consumption can continue despite the current economic uncertainty.

"Irish businesses must also take a lead. Seeking to reduce operating costs by paying the low paid even less and refusing to accept pay increases that match the rate of inflation simply does not make economic sense. Competitive pricing will stimulate consumption. Passing on saving in operating costs to consumers makes sense. And wages kept in line with inflation puts money in the till. It's that simple." ENDS

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