Dáil Éireann - Volume 318 - 27 February, 1980
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cement Prices.
Mr. Harte Mr. Harte
28. Mr. Harte asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism if his attention has been drawn to the notice of Irish Cement Limited to their customers that ministerial sanction has been received to increase the wholesale, and therefore the retail, price of cement to take account of recent CIE freight charges, and that this increase will also be charged in the case of customers who  collect their own supplies from the manufacturers; if his attention has further been drawn to the unsatisfactory CIE freight service to County Donegal where cement suppliers who use private hauliers or their own transport now find themselves forced to pay charges to CIE which they do not use and that the price of cement in Northern Ireland is approximately £6 per ton cheaper than that supplied by Irish Cement with no restrictions on the method of haulage; and if he is aware of the building difficulties in County Donegal as a result of costs in cement increased by over £21 per ton since February 1979.
Minister of State at the Department of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (Mr. R. Burke) Minister of State at the Department of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (Mr. R. Burke)
Minister of State at the Department of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (Mr. R. Burke): I am aware that in accordance with agreed procedure the recent increase in CIE freight charges was passed on by Cement Limited in the form of increased prices for delivered cement, with effect from 28 January 1980.
While there is an ex-works price for bulk cement, the same price is charged for bagged cement whether collected ex-works or delivered within a 20-mile radius of the works. Hence the increase in freight charges was applied to all prices for bagged cement, including collection ex-works. Cement Limited acknowledge that there are some difficulties with the operation of their special delivery service of bagged cement to County Donegal. Discussions between the interests concerned are currently taking place on measures to improve the situation. The most recent information available to my Department indicates that ex-works prices in the Republic at present for bagged cement are over £1.60 per ton cheaper than in Northern Ireland and that Cement Limited's delivered prices for bagged cement in Donegal are not significantly higher than the price in Derry of cement manufactured in Northern Ireland.
The wholesale delivered prices of bagged cement in Donegal have increased by £15.64 per ton since February 1979, and not by £21 as inferred by the Deputy.
If the Deputy is aware of any cases of  overcharging for coment, the matter will be fully investigated by the prices inspectors of my Department on receipt of full particulars of the suspected overcharge.
Dáil Éireann 318 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Cement Prices.