All the major chains in the Irish Republic, as well as discounters and independent grocers’ group RGDATA, are to be questioned about their profit margins by a parliamentary committee.
Recent surveys have shown the Republic and Finland as the most expensive countries in the Eurozone, as well as revealing big differences between the prices UK chains charge in Ireland and Britain. It also revealed there was an equally large gap between Irish farmgate prices and what consumers pay.
Two of the surveys were carried out by Fine Gael, the main opposition party which has made high grocery prices a campaign issue and has set up a “rip-off” website to catalogue consumer complaints.
One of those behind the campaign, prominent frontbencher Philip Hogan, is a member of the Committee on Enterprise and Small Business that will quiz supermarket executives. “We want to look at their profit margins in the light of recent revelations.”
Tesco, Dunnes, Superquinn and the Musgrave group will be among those getting invitations, as well as Aldi and Lidl, and it was hoped the hearings would be completed by Easter.