[Sinn Fein]

14 October 2001

Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis: Consumer Affairs Minister accused over euro cheats sanctions

A Sinn Fein leader who this week called for new laws to stop businesses pushing up prices in the change-over to the euro has accused Fianna Fáil Consumer Affairs Minister Tom Kitt of abandoning his responsibility to tackle rogue traders.

Sinn Fein South Dublin County Councillor Seán Crowe said that Minister Tom Kitt's call at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis for a boycott of rogue traders is an admission that he is not doing his job. Cllr Crowe said:

``Sinn Fein backs consumer power and a boycott of rip-off retailers but surely the Minister should be bringing in laws as the ultimate sanction for rogue traders? Or is he going let them get away with it?''

Cllr Crowe also said the Minister misled the public by tellling the Ard Fheis that businesses are signing up to ``stringent new rules'' for the swap when there is only a voluntary code with no legal comeback. Cllr Crowe said:

``The voluntary code is not enough. There must be legal sanctions to give consumers some real protection against being ripped off. People who rob shops are charged with theft; shops who rob their customers should face the same penalties.'' ENDS

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