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Retail Summit to Discuss Concerns Over Food Prices in Ireland

The Government has convened a meeting of the Retail Forum to discuss concerns over high food prices.

Representatives from major supermarkets will gather for the meeting on Wednesday, which has been called by Neale Richmond, the minister of state with responsibility for retail business.

The minister said the Government had the power to introduce price caps on products, but did not want to have to do that.

Mr Richmond said inflation had decreased in Ireland in the last year, but that prices had not reduced.

“Inflation this time last year was running at about 10pc, it is down to 5pc now. We should be seeing prices coming down,” he told RTÉ’s The Week in Politics programme.

He added: “We are very worried that they haven’t and we want to engage openly and honestly with the retail sector.

“What is directly open to government is the powers under the 2007 Consumer Protection Act which allows the Government to introduce price caps on certain products if it so chooses.

“We really don’t want to do that, that comes with very serious consequences, but it is something that is open to the Government.”

But director of Retail Ireland Arnold Dillon denied that prices were higher in Ireland than the rest of the EU.

He told RTÉ: “Right across Europe we have seen food inflation increasing, an average of about 27pc across the EU in the last two years.

“In Ireland however we have seen food inflation increasing by about 17pc so very significant increases, but less than what has been happening elsewhere in Europe.”

Source : Independent