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Micheál Martins defence of abolition of Groceries Order pathetic

12 May, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Trade and Employment, Arthur Morgan TD has described comments by Minister Micheal Martin on the abolition of the Groceries Order as "pathetic" and said "once again people have been duped by this callous and cynical Government." Deputy Morgan was reacting to comments made by the Minister on RTÉ's Morning Ireland show this morning.

Deputy Morgan said, "The real rationale behind the removal of the Groceries Order was not as it was claimed by the Government and others to benefit the consumer by reducing prices. Minister Martin's attempts this morning to explain away why prices have continued to rise was not only pathetic but a blatant falsehood.

"The removal of the Groceries Order was never about protecting the consumer -- instead it was about facilitating large retail multiples expand their operations and dominate the market.

"It should not be forgotten that the abolition of the groceries order was opposed by many of the anti-poverty organisations, including the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Combat Poverty Agency and Crosscare on the basis that families on low incomes would be at greater risk of food poverty if it were repealed.

"Prices will not come down as a result of the abolition of the Groceries Order. Instead profits and the size of retail outlets will continue to rise and rise. Once again people have been duped by this callous and cynical Government -- aided in the process this time by a willing fool in Fine Gael -- who also supported the abolition of the Order.

"Once again it is obvious as far as this Government is concerned that the interests of big business come before the citizens of this state." ENDS

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