Calleary to question retail leaders on north-south price differences

The price differential between shops north and south of the border will be questioned by Ballina Fianna Fáil Deputy Dara Calleary when retail industry leaders come before the Oireachtas Enterprise, Trade, and Employment committee.

Dep Calleary is a member of the committee and he intends to put the findings of a report commissioned by the Tánaiste Mary Coughlan TD, on the comparative cost of operating retail businesses in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Britain, and the Netherlands, to the retail leaders.

That report stated that, while operating costs are higher in Ireland than in the North, the difference in prices is substantially higher than the difference that could understandably exist as a result of operating costs.

“The report commissioned by the Tánaiste found that while operating costs in Dublin were on average 25 per cent of the total cost of the retail goods, such costs should only justify a five to six per cent differential in the retail price of the same goods between Dublin and Belfast,” explained Dep Calleary.

Operating costs in other Irish cities are not as high as in Dublin and were more in line with cities in the UK.

“The enterprise committee has invited retail industry leaders to come before us in January and I look forward to quizzing them on these results. There may be other reasons for the price differences and I look forward to exploring these also,” said Dep Calleary.

“In the run up to Christmas this year more than ever we have seen the price difference affect our own retailers. Teamed with a weak Sterling pound, this has left many businesses, particularly those on the border, see a considerable decline in business. The Government is committed to improving the cost competitiveness of the business environment but businesses must now also pass on the benefit of a stronger euro to the consumer,” concluded Dep Calleary.

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