Dáil Éireann - Volume 600 - 13 April, 2005
Written Answers. - Maximum Price Orders.
Mr. Naughten Mr. Naughten
203. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will introduce a freeze on the price of alcohol at retail level until at least 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11359/05]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: The policy on prices followed by this Government and by most Governments since price controls were abandoned in the 1980s is that prices should be set by competition in the marketplace.
While a maximum prices order was made under the Prices Act in July 2000 to freeze the price of certain drinks sold in pubs, hotels and restaurants, the order lapsed after six months as its impact on prices was not particularly significant. I would not consider it appropriate, therefore, to make an order to freeze the price of drinks at this stage. The Retail Price (Beverage in Licensed Premises) Display Order 1999, which requires the display of a price list of a selection of the most popular drinks immediately outside or inside each entry to a licensed premises, enables consumers to know the prices being charged before they enter particular premises so they can take their custom elsewhere if they believe those prices to be unreasonably high. There is some evidence from recent media reports that consumer power may be having a far greater effect on drink prices than maximum price orders ever did.
Dáil Éireann 600 Written Answers. Maximum Price Orders.