Written Answers. - Price Increases.

Thursday, 26 July 1973

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 267 No. 12

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97.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Noel T. Lemass  Zoom on Noel T. Lemass  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the steps he proposes to take to have excessive [2223] increases on the price of spirits, following the Budget increase of 3p per glass, withdrawn.

98.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Noel T. Lemass  Zoom on Noel T. Lemass  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that certain public houses have increased the price of whiskey and stout in excess of the Budget provisions; and the steps he proposes to take in the matter.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Keating): Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 97 and 98 together.

There have been excessive increases in drink prices in various areas throughout the country following the increases sanctioned by the Budget. In all cases efforts are being made to secure the necessary price reductions on a voluntary basis. If these efforts fail, I will make orders fixing maximum prices for drink in the areas concerned.

99.

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will indicate in respect of the three months ended 30th June, 1973, the items under each of the following headings for which he sanctioned increased prices and the amount of each such increase: (a) foodstuffs, (b) household goods and (c) other commodities.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Keating): Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  Particulars of all price increases recommended to me are available from the published monthly reports of the National Prices Commission, which are in the Oireachtas Library and which are also circulated to each Deputy. On the days on which the monthly reports of the Commission for April, May and June, 1973, were published, I indicated in a Press statement that, with the exception of increases in CIE rates and fares, I had accepted the Commission's recommendations for price increases for the firms concerned and that I would raise no objection to the implementation of these increases.

A separate announcement is being made by the Government in connection with the increases in passenger fares and freight rates by CIE.

[2224]100.

Mr. Walsh: Information on Seán Walsh  Zoom on Seán Walsh  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will list the items used in the building construction industry which are not referred to him for sanction for price increases.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Keating): Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  The number of products used in the building construction industry is so great that it would be impractical to compile a comprehensive list identifying those which are not controlled in price. Generally, the position is that my sanction is not required for price increases designed to compensate for increases in landed costs of imported products but, as I informed the Deputy on 12th July, 1973, importers may not now increase their profit margins, in cash terms, above the actual cash margins obtained on 23rd June, 1973.

101.

Mr. B. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce when the proposed increases in CIE fares will be sanctioned.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Keating): Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  A Government announcement on the matter will be made later today.

102.

Mr. White: Information on James White  Zoom on James White  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware of the mark-up from manufacturer to consumer on cornflakes; and if he considers it satisfactory that the wholesaler and retailer have to work within a 4½ per cent profit margin.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Keating): Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  As a result of representations made to me by interests concerned, I have amended the Maximum Prices (Household Goods) Order, 1973, so as to fix, inter alia, revised maximum prices for cornflakes.

103.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the steps, if any, which he is taking to ensure that meat prices to the consumer are lowered in line with the drop in cattle, sheep and pig prices.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Keating): Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  The retail prices of beef, mutton and bacon are [2225] kept under constant review by the National Prices Commission, who have been asked to report to me, with their recommendations for dealing with the situation, if they find evidence that downward trends in livestock prices are not reflected in the retail prices of meat.

104.

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will indicate the outcome of the recent meeting which he had with the representatives of the retail trade regarding alterations in the fixed maximum prices on certain commodities.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Keating): Information on Justin Keating  Zoom on Justin Keating  As a result of the meeting referred to by the Deputy and of other representations made to me by various interests the maximum permitted prices of a number of commodities covered by the Maximum Prices (Household Goods) Order, 1973 are being increased, mostly to take account of increases recommended by the National Prices Commission subsequent to the signing of the order.


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