NFRN Ireland presents its policy agenda 2014 at Fine Gael Ard Fheis
3 March 2014
National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) Ireland president Joe Sweeney attended the Fine Gael Ard Fheis on Saturday 1 March to discuss the organisation’s Policy Agenda 2014 with Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. Sweeney also presented the policy document to a number of senior ministers including Finance Minister Michael Noonan, junior ministers, MEPs, Oireachtas Committee chairs and members of the parliamentary party.
NFRN Ireland hosts its annual general meeting in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim tomorrow, Tuesday 4 March at which the policy agenda and campaigning activities will be discussed by members.
NFRN Ireland’s policy priorities for 2014 include tackling the illicit trade in Ireland, particularly in tobacco products. The organisation believes that the plain packaging of cigarettes will boost the illicit trade as it has done in Australia since plain packaging was introduced there in late 2012
The newsagents’ group also wants to use the Valuation Bill currently before the Oireachtas to introduce a levy on multiples, similar to that introduced in Northern Ireland in April 2014.
Other policy goals include agreeing the minimum pricing of alcohol; establishing an Ombudsman for Small Business; cutting red tape for small businesses and protecting retailers and consumers from crime.
Commenting after the meetings at the Ard Fheis, Joe Sweeney said: "In every case the document was well received and the Taoiseach and his party colleagues all promised to give the points I raised very careful consideration.
"As well as meeting the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, I also had the opportunity to discuss it with Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, Small Business Minister John Perry, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Brian Hayes and Oireachtas Jobs Committee Chair, Damien English.
"It is the stated aim of the Taoiseach to make Ireland ‘the best small country in the world in which to do business’ and NFRN Ireland continues to work to ensure that Ireland is also the best country in the world for small businesses such as our members in the independent retail sector."