Dáil Éireann - Volume 487 - 18 February, 1998

Written Answers. - Single Currency.

29. Mr. Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the action, if any, she is taking regarding fears about cost implications and the lack of relevant support services to retailers on the changeover to the euro as expressed to the Joint Committee on Enterprise and Small Business by the Secretary of the Federation of Irish Distributive Trades. [4101/98]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Miss Harney): I understand that the Joint Committee on Enterprise and Small Business has not yet considered the detail of the issues raised by the Federation of Irish Distributive Trades.

I assure the Deputy, however, that the position of retailers in regard to the changeover to the single currency is fully appreciated by myself and my Department and I am satisfied that the necessary framework already exists to address any concerns which retailers may have.

Forfás, the policy advisory board, is co-ordinating a campaign of information for the enterprise sector. The objective of the campaign is to ensure that all information in relation to the introduction and operation of EMU is available to business enterprises.

A consultative committee, comprising nominated representatives from employer organisations professional bodies, trade associations and State agencies acts as a forum for co-ordination, co-operation and information exchange. RGDATA, is represented on the consultative committee.

In addition, under the Business Awareness Campaign, a retail sector working group has been formed. Its objectives are to address and make recommendations on the specific issues relating to the practical implications of EMU and the changeover to the euro for retailers, especially small retailers.

Those organisations that comprise the Federation of Irish Distributive Trades are represented on the working group.