Wednesday, 10 February 1971
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. 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: 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. 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. 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.
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