Now the government are thinking about price controls

Mary Coughlan should persue the reasons why we are fundementally more expensive here and not going about like a big mama blowing off that the problems stems from third parties.

Claw back the €1billion per year that benchmarking is costing, eliminate the €60 million consultancey fees being paid out by Gov Depts on reports that are unheeded, cut out pensions to sitting Oireachtas members ( e.g. Mary O’ Rourke €58,000 p.a.). Allow for sacking of public servents who abuse their job’s or fellow workers (bullying is part and parcel of sections of the publc service), Strip pension rights for members of the public service (incl current & formers oireachtas members) for embezzelement or fraud of the public purse. Full accoutability of all public institutions. That will do as a start.

Every time I think the government has reached the depths of stupidity - it gets out the shovel and keeps digging.

With the exchange rates constantly yo-yo’ing, does Coughlan seriously expect retailers to be changing prices every day?

Does this clown not realise that there’s a reason why things down here are more expensive than up North? Commercial rents are still sky-high when compared to Northern Ireland. Our minimum wage is far higher. Electricity and insurance are also more expensive here.

Minister in a government which navigated the ship of state into an uncompetitive dead end turns on the crew. I’ve started to watch this from behind my sofa, soon I’ll have to avert my gaze completely; the horror, the horror.

Would someone give this woman an economics lesson??? :imp:

If they want to mess around with price controls they should lower the price of electricity and have all government services aggressively negotiate on commercial and residential rents.

The cabinet meeting tomorrow could do with a blessing from St Dogbert

I’m not a fan of price controls. But we have a big problem with the prices in supermarkets. The competition between chains is a little too friendly. It is too easy to wheel out tired excuses for being overcharged.

Ireland has to get competitive internationally. In order to do this within the euro, we need to cut the cost of doing business from Ireland. For people to live here, we need to cut the cost of living (housing/food/energy/transport/tax). It would be good news if we heard that the weekly grocery bill was going to fall 25%.

Unfortunately, I’m only coming up with a Venezuelan-style solution of opening a gov-controlled chain with basic items to compete with existing chains. Not exactly ideal, maybe the threat of this would work better.

And who is going to supply the government shops at the controlled price when the other shops are doing business in the real world?

I have a better idea: set the price of everything at €1 and raise the minimum wage to €100/hour. That way everyone will be rich while everything is cheap, right?. Frankly, I don’t see why price controls aren’t a feature of economic policy in both good and bad times. I mean, if you can control prices, you don’t ever have to use any other policy instruments to affect the economy. Just control the way we measure value and, presto, everything will work perfectly.

We can even extend this into other areas, too. Nobody is allowed to weigh more than 100kg. There, I just solved obesity. Watch me cure blindness now: from today, everyone must have 20/20 vision.

I could get used to this.

Ireland is too expensive. Simple. Starting from the cost of politicians down (yes MArie, you get paid more than the President of the United States)…

I’m not sure this is neccessary. Lidl and Aldi are already priced substantially beleow the other as far as I can see. The market is probably doing it’s work. Here’s to you mein Herren 8DD

The problem for the government is perhaps more tax loss from all the other stuff that’s going on-line and walking across the border. See our scrimp and scrape thread. If you have an internet conenction and a credt card you can actaully live pretty close to UK prices.

At least Mary took a 10% pay cut recently. But you are 100% right. As Sidey says, cut the fucking quangos in their entirety this week. We can set-up efficient regulatory bodies etc throughout the year on absolute needs basis. The tax take in the country is down billions now that the property bubble has burst and the tat and bling (as Yogi calls it) consumer spending bubble has also burst. Neither of these is going to make a comeback in the next few decades. Therefore, we need to reduce public spending dramatically and we need to do it by cutting the € 13BN quango bill - this will solve most of the problem.

I would agree with your views. While commercial rents, etc are dearer than, let’s say, the North does this accound for a disparity of 51% in a lot of prices. Take, for example, a TV which was retailing in Currys NI stores before Christmas for stg £549 (just under €600 equivalent). It was retailing in Currys ROI for €999.

You then had a situation with Currys basically operating in the same neighbourhood (separate jurisdictions) charging some 50% more for the same product. It doesn’t add up. I’m not really the economics type, but I’d love someone with the ability and knowledge to explain the reason for this to me.

A Dublin retailer, with a small chain of supermarkets, was interviewed before Christmas and he wasn’t happy with the prices being charged by his wholesaler. He sourced a Co-op in Manchester which can supply him with the same goods (including shipping) for 33% LESS. He queried this with his wholesaler and they were unable (not unwilling) to give him a reason for this.

It cannot all be attributed to VAT, the minimum wage, etc. Profiteering was rampant. And now people are voting with their feet. And who can blame them?

And on the subject of Aldi, they were recently charging stg£159 for an LCD TV. The Euro equivalent at the time was €165. It was being sold here for €269. Doesn’t add up. While their Euro prices have dropped recently there is still some disparity on dearer items: … z_src=main … z_src=main

What will happen to unemployment and our dole bill when we do that, though? The total savings will be less than than the current cost.

What will happen to unemployment and our dole bill when we do that, though? The total savings will be less than than the current cost.

I’m not suggesting we should keep the quangos, only that the savings will be less than people appear to think.

Especially with €8bn approved for AIB / BOI this morning!!! :smiley:

Now we all get that point.