Multiples in the Irish market, including Tesco and Dunnes, have come under fire for cashing social welfare cheques only on condition that a specified amount of the money is spent in their stores.
The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed said it was “surprised and disappointed that profitable businesses should insist on such a practice”.
It called for action by the Social Welfare Department to ensure people had access to benefit payments “without suffering an additional cost”.
Tesco said that those cashing welfare cheques at its 89 stores in the Republic were required to spend a minimum of 125 in the outlet or a third of the amount, if the cheque was for 1130 or more. “Most people are happy with the arrangement,” said a spokeswoman.
A Dunnes spokeswoman could not confirm whether its policy requiring those cashing cheques to spend two thirds in store applied across all its stores.