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Government must demand scrutiny of supermarkets’ accounts at this week’s Retail Forum meeting

The Government must force the major supermarket chains to come clean about the profits they are making off the backs of struggling consumers, according to Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns.

“Tomorrow’s meeting of the Retail Forum needs to be much more than just a listening exercise. The Government must insist on full scrutiny of the obscene profits being made by retailers at the expense of their customers.

“Recent reductions in the price of milk and butter are tokenistic and will do little to cut householders’ soaring grocery bills, which have increased by €1,200 in the last year alone.

“It is deeply immoral for supermarkets to be fleecing their customers in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. Grocery inflation is now running at more than 16 per cent – way ahead of general inflation – which suggests that retailers are making massive profits.

“The major supermarkets insist they are not profiteering, yet there is no clarity about the profits of their Irish operations. The Government must insist on full transparency on the levels of profit they are generating in Ireland and make clear what action they will take to curb any greed exposed.

“We know that the poorest 10 per cent of households spend almost half their income on food and energy. Despite 25 per cent of gas customers being in arrears, energy companies have ignored Government requests to reduce their prices. We must not allow supermarket chains to do the same.”

May 9, 2023

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