CSNA meets Oireachtas committee
TDs in Joint Committee on Economic Regulatory Affairs say they "can't disagree" with CSNA complaints
10 November 2008 | 0
At a meeting with the Joint Committee on Economic Regulatory Affairs at Dáil Eireann last month, Vincent Jennings of the CSNA outlined a number of grievances pertaining to competition issues that are negatively impacting retailers’ businesses. Chief among them was the new toll-pay product from the contractor appointed by the NRA. In return for providing the service in their shops retailers receive only 1% commission, despite the fact, says Jennings, that it costs much more than 1% to process the product. “The NRA has effectively allowed for a situation where retailers are expected to provide a service at a loss every time.”
Jennings also set forth a series of similar abuses by various organisations, including the semi-state bodies ESB and An Bord Gáis. Once again, the stipend for providing their services “does not meet our costs”, said Jennings, and “was not subject to any negotiation.”
When questioned by ShelfLife subsequent to the meeting, committee member Damien English TD said: “I intend to put pressure on the Government and its agencies to make changes to the working environment facing retailers…I believe that the committees have a role to bring about changes that will help protect small businesses like retailers against the kinds of abuses described by the CSNA.”
As an initial step, Mr. English has contacted Competition Authority chairman Bill Prasifka, in particular raising the issue of extending the powers and remit of CA or other agency to cover the complaints of retailers and other small businesses. As of writing he was still awaiting a communication from Prasifka.
Similarly Deputy Sean Sherlock TD commented: “From a purely pragmatic and common sense point of view, one can’t disagree with what was being said by Vincent Jennings”
Mr. Sherlock said that he intends to speak to the Labour enterprise and employment spokesperson, Willie Penrose, about raising the issues in the Dáil, particularly the matter of creating an office, or extending the powers of an existing one, to deal with the complaints of small businesses.