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Watchdog Woes – What’s the story with Consumer Representation?

Paul Cullen wrote an interesting piece yesterday morning in the Pricewatch column in the Irish Times about how Irish consumer are, or more particularly aren’t really, represented very well at the moment.

In talking about the Consumers Association of Ireland, the article says:

So the CAI is likely to stagger on, small, independent and hamstrung – which, you suspect, is just the way many powerful forces in society would like it.

And of the National Consumer Agency:

but has been less effective in countering the power of big corporations, such as fuel companies, food retailers and telecoms operators.

but the NCA has been criticised for not going for the jugular where traders commit offences

The article refers to the issues that I had with the Consumers Association back in November when I submitted my resignation. The article expands a little on the issues I had back then regarding the supposedly voluntary members of the CAI council making money through their multiple nominations to other government agencies. It also details a little more the extra cash that Dermott Jewell makes from his multiple external appointments which in my view have to take from his ability to effectively run what is already an ailing Association.

I guess that this is a little tongue in cheek, but the article speaks of ValueIreland.com as follows:

MacShane, who has effectively set himself up in opposition to the CAI through his website, ValueIreland.com, is critical of the organisation’s failure to make a bigger impact on public consciousness.

Oh well, I didn’t expect my master plan to be exposed in this way quite yet 🙂

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