Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 25 Mar 1969

Vol. 239 No. 6

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Trading Stamps.


asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether his Department have considered the growing incidence of the use of trading stamps in both supermarkets and filling stations, as such stamp schemes are generally controlled from British sources; and whether such schemes add to the overall cost at consumer level.

I have had no complaints in recent years from the public or from distributors about the use of trading stamps. My Department is aware of the practice but has no evidence that its incidence is growing substantially. Where full price competition exists, the consumer is not committed to extra costs and, in other circumstances, the stamps are equivalent to a discount.

Whatever about complaints, have the Department under review the possible repercussions of the use of trading stamps on costs to both traders and consumers? Certainly, the view has been expressed that an amount of money is leaving the country via this trading stamps scheme, that it is controlled from British sources and that it adds to the costs of those running supermarkets and, obviously, may have repercussions on consumer prices? Has the Minister's Department this aspect of the matter under review?

Yes, the operation of these schemes is under review in my Department but the Deputy will appreciate that as long as there is competition in which some shops are offering stamps and some are not, the effect of the stamps is really a form of discount or lower prices, but people can choose which one they will go to.

But is it not regrettable that there should be so much money in foreign hands?

Is not everything in this country in foreign hands now?

The answer is "No".