Written Answers. - Drink Price Regulations.

Tuesday, 22 May 1990

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 398 No. 10

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  41.  Mr. J. Higgins  Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins   asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce  Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley   if he will regulate the price of drink; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

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  128.  Mr. S. Barrett  Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett   asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce  Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley   if he has satisfied himself that the abolition of price control has led to keener competition in the drinks industry; if he has had discussions with representatives of the brewers following the decision to increase the price of the pint by 2p; and if he has established whether this increase will be passed on in full to the consumer.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. O'Malley): Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 128 together. As the House will be aware, the National Prices Commission were disbanded in 1986 and detailed price control procedures generally were ceased. As the Deputies will be conscious, this was done by the then Government to encourage price competition and to promote greater price awareness among consumers.

In the absence of price control, there is no onus on drink manufacturers or publicans to notify me of any price increases. Consequently, I have had no discussions with anyone in the industry on price increases.

I have no plans to reintroduce detailed price control in respect of alcoholic drink. The emphasis of the Government is to further strengthen competition legislation and a new Competition Bill is in the course of preparation for the consideration of the Oireachtas.


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