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Government refuses to respond to advice from the Competition Authority

8 February, 2012

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Peadar Tóibín TD today tabled an amendment to the Competition (Amendment) Bill. The amendment would mandate the government to respond to reports and recommendations from the Competition Authority. The government refused to accept the amendment and voted it down.

Deputy Tóibín stated, “Since coming to power this government has lectured our business community and workers on the need to enhance our competitiveness. In practice the government has translated this rhetoric into attacks on the low paid JLC and agency workers.

“There are anti- competitive practises in this state. They can be found across industries such as the concrete industry, within retail where multinationals exploit their dominant market position with below cost selling and within the commercial rent sector with landlords refusing to end upward only rent reviews.

“Today the Dáil was discussing the Competition Bill, and Sinn Féin proposed a modest amendment that would have mandated the Government to provide a response to reports and recommendations of the Competition Authority.

“The government refused to include this in legislation and opted to continue to ignore the Competition Authority. They have also opted to ignore suggestions from myself with regards incentivising whistle blowers, properly resourcing the authority and facilitating civil fines.

“Failure to invest resources in the Competition Authority is costing this economy and government massive amounts of money and the cost benefit case for increasing the gardaí available to the authority from two individuals is clear.

“This was an opportunity to put in place a robust authority and to demonstrate to our businesses that the government is determined to tackle anti-competitive practises that undermine growth, cost jobs and drive up prices.” ENDS

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