Does CAI mean “can’t agree internally” or “confused and incoherent”?

The Consumers Association of Ireland (CAI), which we found out in Mondays Pricewatch is in terminal decline now seems to not even be able to co-ordinate their pithy soundbites for the media. You’d think that €60,000+ in government grants from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment could at least have funded a couple of mobile phones between them.

I mentioned earlier today that the Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan, had mentioned the possibility of bringing back price controls on Sunday.

First up from the CAI spokespeople was Dermott Jewell, the Chief Executive, quoted in this article from yesterdays Irish Independent, who said:

Price control was the last thing consumers needed, especially in a recession. “Once that happens competition goes out the window,” he said. “When that happens all prices find the one level at whatever is the highest possible price.”

Then, later on in the evening, on The Last Word with Matt Cooper on TodayFM, Michael Kilcoyne, the vice-chairman of the Association had the absolute complete opposite to say:

Well, I think that there is merit in the suggestion and it certainly should be examined. It’s an issue that I have raised on a number of occasions in the past. There is no justification for example for why some product should be up to 30% more expensive in the Republic of Ireland than it is in Northern Ireland. It quite simply is greed and a rip off.
Well, price controls would work, for example, where there’s a maximum price imposed on something. For example, it seems to me to make great sense that when you transfer the rate in sterling to euro and maybe allow a margin for fluctuations that it shouldn’t be any more than a difference of 2 or 3% rather than in some cases up to 30 or 40%.
What has happened is there are huge prices, that we all see evidence of great rip offs. There should be in some cases be a maximum price. There is no doubt about that. While the Tánaiste in the past has refused to consider that, I think that it’s one of the things that has to be considered.

So, one for and one against amongst the jokers at the Consumers Association of Ireland. Just as well the government isn’t trying to save money anywhere at the moment!!!

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5 Responses to Does CAI mean “can’t agree internally” or “confused and incoherent”?

  1. declanh February 3, 2009 at 22:12 #

    I heard this interview. I thought that Matt must’ve been half asleep for that interview. He let the IBEC guy who was on afterwards (and pointed out what you’re talking about here too) away with bullshitting his way through the whole thing.
    Matt didn’t even pick up on this conflict in statements from the consumers affairs people.

  2. Tom February 3, 2009 at 22:43 #

    I read the irish times artice. I cannot believe that between the ceo & kilcoyne they syphoned off over €51k in public money FOR THEMSELVES!

    It defies belief. Just like fas and celia getting money from the NCA.

    I wonder could they even have broken the law? Esp since it is supposed to be a ‘charity’.

    Is there any ombudsman type person they could be reported to? Even the minister?

  3. Sarah February 4, 2009 at 14:51 #

    I heard leo veradkar on the News at One today saying he agreed with the Consumers association spokesman on prices – but which spokesman did he mean? there’s no way of knowing!


  1. » More from the Consumers Association about Price Controls - : Irelands Only Truly Independent Consumer Watchdog - February 9, 2009

    […] Last week I wrote about the mixed signals coming from the Consumers Association of Ireland – where the Chief Executive and vice Chairman came out on complete opposite sides of Mary Coughlans suggestion that price controls may be brought back. […]

  2. » CAI finally starting to get their stories straight - : Irelands Only Truly Independent Consumer Watchdog - February 19, 2009

    […] what I guess was is a reaction to the mixed messages that came from the CAI over the price controls issue recently, this was added to this months text: To all Editors, Producers, programme Researchers, […]

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