Union calls for probe into retail 'profiteering'
Published 17/12/2010 | 05:00
THE Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) yesterday called on the Government to appoint an independent expert to investigate profiteering.
It follows a new Eurostat survey showing prices for almost all goods and services were significantly higher here than in the rest of the EU.
"It is impossible to understand why home-produced items such as bread, meat, milk or eggs are costing between 20pc and 40pc more here than in other EU member states," said ICTU President Jack O'Connor.
"It is quite clear that profit taking is continuing on a massive scale. While working people are being crucified with falling incomes and rising taxation, certain elements in business are continuing to cream it," he said.
Prices in Ireland are 31pc higher than the European average. Huge price gaps apply to basic consumer goods such as food, electricity, restaurant meals and alcohol.
However the price gap is even wider for health and education services paid for by government, which are 56pc dearer than in other countries.
The Department of Enterprise said the Eurostat figures dated from last year and prices had come down since then, falling by 0.8pc since November 2009.