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Beware of business organisations crying wolf

I’ve written here before about how consumers should be careful when listening to business representative organisations pronouncements in the press.

If you’re listening to the SIMI warning about the dangers involved in consumers importing their own cars from the UK or Northern Ireland – you have to keep in the back of your mind the money aspect to this and the fact that they’re losing money every time a consumer successfully does so.

The latest that I heard in this genre of self-interested crying wolf was some vintners who are claiming that the prevalence of cheap booze that is for sale now in grocery stores is leading to an increase in violence against women in the home.

The claim seems to be in some sort of support for a reintroduction of a price control on the price of drink that disappeared with the removal of the Groceries Order. This was all covered in an episode of the Last Word on TodayFM last week.

Again, if you consider following the money, you’ll be aware that pubs are closing around the country from the lack of business and the fact that people are drinking more at home either because of the still high (and illegally frozen) price of drink as well as the smoking ban.

So, this scaremongering story (for God’s sake protect our women) is trying to get this cheap drink taken off the market so people will come back to their pubs.

How about dropping your prices, rather than freezing them at ridiculously high 2008 prices? That might show that you’re interested in getting us back in the pubs rather than these cheap stunts.

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More from the Consumers Association about Price Controls

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.

One thing from the comments on The Last Word with Matt Cooper on TodayFM from Michael Kilcoyne, the CAI vice Chairman struck me as completely bizarre:

And I think though, also, that there are many areas that are under the direct control of government like local authority service charges that would have to have the same controls. It may well be fine to impose controls on the private sector, I think it should also apply where there are services provided by the state.

Remember, price controls are being mentioned as a possible solution to the dual pricing sterling to euro conversion rate controversy that’s been rolling on for months now.

So where the hell would local government charges be relevant to all this? Why raise this issue on national radio when it’s got nothing to do with the issue at hand? Surely the price of services provided by the state are by their very nature price controlled?

Local government elections coming up in Mayo in June maybe?

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