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Who’s really to blame for “Rip Off Ireland”

On Thursday last week, only a few days after I wrote about whether it was consumers or businesses that were at fault for the perception of “rip off Ireland”, Michael Ring, the Fine Gael TD for my home county of Mayo came up with a doozy.

According to this breaking news item on the Irish Times site, Deputy Ring had this to say:

“This issue has been discussed on TV3 and RTÉ and I want to know can we have a debate in the Dáil. It’s in relation to Tesco and Dunnes robbing the people of Ireland.” He added: “It used to be ‘rip-off Ireland’ and now it’s ‘rip off the Irish’ ”

Another classic from the Fine Gael party. I respectfully suggest that Deputy Ring contact An Garda Siochana if Irish consumers are being “robbed”.

On the other hand, if Irish consumers are willingly handing over cash to UK retailers who may be charging more in Ireland than they are in the United Kingdom, maybe Deputy Ring should use his Dail time a bit more wisely rather than jumping on the National Consumer Agency bandwagon.

Shops charge what consumers are willing to pay. If Irish consumers pay the amounts charged by UK based retailers, then they’ll continue to charge that, and possibly more. On the other hand, if Irish consumers become a little more discerning about how and where they spend their money, then such retailers will have to rethink their pricing policies.

How come we haven’t heard anyone seriously talk about a boycott if things are as bad as we’re being told?

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