Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Shop Unit Pricing.

Wednesday, 10 February 1971

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 251 No. 7

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40.

Mr. Crowley: Information on Florence Crowley  Zoom on Florence Crowley  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will introduce legislation that will require unit pricing in all shops so that customers can tell how much an item costs per lb, ounce, etc., regardless of size or shape.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Under the Merchandise Marks Act, 1970, I am enabled to make orders prescribing that the quantity of contents be shown on packages and that specified goods be sold in standard quantities. I am having an order prepared under this Act covering almost the whole range of grocery goods, and have invited interested parties to give their views.

This order should largely eliminate the need for unit-pricing systems which are useful only where goods are not in standard packs, and until the effect of the coming measure is known, I would be reluctant to impose further requirements on the distributors which might prove unduly onerous on them without really benefiting consumers.

Mr. Crowley: Information on Florence Crowley  Zoom on Florence Crowley  If the Minister does not intend to use the unit pricing system what type of comparative pricing does he intend to introduce?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I can spell out the requirements with regard to quality and quantity and this will become equally effective.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  Will every manufacturer have to put the net weight on each unit?

[1019]Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Yes, the idea is to introduce standard size or standard weight packs.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  That is impossible.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Unit pricing generally arises in relation to a variety, something being packed on the basis of non-adherence to weight, just volume. It all depends on one's interpretation of the word “unit” as such.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton  Zoom on Mark A. Clinton  Can the Minister see any possibility of making an order to overcome the difficulty I mentioned to the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries about the export of eggs to Northern Ireland?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I heard my colleague the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries talk about the Merchandise Marks Act and I presume he meant the Merchandise Marks Act as operated in relation to the North of Ireland.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton  Zoom on Mark A. Clinton  He specifically said it was.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  I will have to check on this because I had not contemplated any particular regulations.


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