Superquinn founder Senator Feargal Quinn has backed Minister Richard Bruton's position on the issue of forcing retailers to declare their profits in Ireland.
The issue of whether retailers should be forced to declare their profits here was raised during a Seanad debate on the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill last Thursday, during which Senator David Cullinane tabled an amendment requiring retailers to "disclose the annual profits of its Irish outlets".
Minister Bruton rejected the amendment, noting that "a disclosure regime targeting a specific sector could be viewed as disproportionate, discriminatory and could have negative consequences in terms of business costs and in attracting foreign direct investment."
Commenting on the Minister's position, Senator Quinn said: "I agree entirely with the Minister. To single out a particular group of companies to publish figures does nothing for consumer protection. The grocery business is as competitive a business as any and this is evident in the number of companies that have come and gone over the years."
Commenting on a further amendment, tabled by Senator Darragh O'Brien (Fianna Fáil), which recommended the establishment of a grocery ombudsman, Quinn added: "When I look back on the controls that manufacturers and suppliers would like, I can remember one group of farmers coming to me and complaining that our meat was too cheap and they were going to place a picket on our stores. I told them they were very welcome to do so because I could not imagine a better advertisement we could get. They did not place a picket.
"Competition has been very healthy in Ireland and I hope it will continue on that basis in the years ahead. The fewer controls and difficulties we have on that basis, the healthier it will be for competition and therefore for the consumer."