Price gouging during Covid-19 emergency needs to be tackled - Seán Crowe TD
Sinn Féin Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has called on caretaker Ministers for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys to introduce stringent measures to stop price gouging and that there are still a number of matters to resolve to ensure families and workers are supported through public health emergency.
Deputy Crowe said:
"Any new crisis can bring the best or the worst out of people, but we have developing is unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of a growth in demand for essential items due to the public health emergency and increase their prices dramatically.
“Every day we are hearing disturbing stories of price increases on hand gels, disinfectant wipes, face masks, airline flights, with robberies from hospitals and primary care centres on the increase all across the State.
“Collectively over the last few generations we have never faced such a serious health challenge so new approaches and forward thinking is now needed from central government.
“Emergency legislation is needed on price gouging and the robberies of medical centres needs to be tackled now; not when stock is gone and it’s too late.
“I am calling on Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Enterprise Minister Heather Humphries investigate the possibility of bringing increased prison sentences for stealing of medical supplies and a ban on price gouging during this emergency.
“Facemasks going from €20 or €30 euro per pack to €150 euro or hand gels going from 40 cent to €2 and €4 euro is wrong on so many levels.
“We are hearing reports of Airline flights going from €500 one way to €5,000 because of the demand of people trying to travel home during this crisis and all without government intervention. Price gouging is wrong needs to be tackled head on.
“We need to address these serious issues. The Government must intervene immediately to stop companies and individuals taking advantage of individual and collective vulnerabilities that are going to be more evident in the coming weeks."