Written Answers. - Milk Prices.

Michael Bell

Ceist:

55 Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if his attention has been drawn to the price differential in milk, which costs 58 pence per litre in supermarkets in this State and 33 pence per litre in supermarkets in Northern Ireland; if he will investigate the matter to establish the reason for the very substantial price differential; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I understand that the Minister for Agriculture and Food, who has responsibility for prices in this area, has replied to a similiar question tabled by the Deputy.

In so far as competition aspects here are concerned, I would refer the Deputy to the settlement earlier this year of an action taken by the Director of Consumer Affairs for breaches of the Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order of 1987. I understand that the director continues to monitor the situation and has signified that he will take further action as necessary.