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Sinn Féin criticises Government U-turn on megastores

8 November, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson for both the Environment and Trade & Enterprise, Arthur Morgan TD, has slated moves by the Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche to relax the current ban on superstores so as to facilitate the location of an IKEA furniture store in Ireland.

Deputy Morgan said, "There was absolutely no valid reason in the world for the current regulations in relation to the size of retail warehouses to be changed.

"This is not about providing quality employment. Retail sale jobs in Ireland as elsewhere have traditionally been low paid jobs with limited prospects for career advancement. It is not about providing consumers with choice. One superstore dominating the market place does not constitute choice. It is also not about the regeneration of urban areas. In fact it will dramatically increase, just to service the customer numbers needed for such a superstore, the volume of traffic already choking our roads and local communities as people vie for the latest promotion on offer.

"What this is really about is a single multi-national business empire flexing its considerable muscle to force a Government u-turn on a policy that has served the Irish retail sector well for years. There is nothing to be gained in the short, medium or long-term and in fact there is much to be lost in terms of manufacturing, retail and services jobs as small local industries are sacrificed on the alter of the Megastore." ENDS

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