[Sinn Fein]

23rd March 1999

Tesco - Creative Accounting or Daylight Robbery

Sinn Fein's candidate for the European elections in Dublin, Seán Crowe has responded to reports of additional charges in branches of supermarket giant Tesco by asking whether this is ``creative accounting or daylight robbery.'' His comments come as a survey carried out by RGDATA found that the multi national store has been guilty of charging customers up to 9% extra on their average shopping bills.

Mr Crowe said:

``The Gardaí and the Director of Consumer Affairs should immediately begin investigating this latest consumer scandal. It is not good enough that Tesco undertake an in house check of their pricing system. The anomaly in shoppers bills highlighted in this survey would leave Tesco's with approximately 30 million in additional profit over a full year.

``A number of months ago the customers of banks experienced this unique Irish consumer phenomena. The RGDATA survey, if taken at face value, has uncovered another mysterious black hole which leads directly to the profits of another multi-national company.

``Tesco's customers are quite rightly outraged at today's discovery. They have been systematically and fraudently overcharged for their shopping. An investigation into this matter must take place immediately. We need to know how widespread this practice is, how Tesco's plan to end this practice and when they plan to give the money back to their considerably poorer customers.''ENDS

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