Would you credit it?
Do you think people should shop locally “in the national interest”? Siptu does. For years we have been ripped off and charged 30, 40 or even 50 per cent more than people living in the US and the UK for exactly the same products and had little choice but to pay up. Now, that times are harder, Siptu, is trying to guilt people into rejecting the allure of New York and Newry and buy Irish this Christmas.
“We know how hard pressed families will find it to make ends meet in these particularly difficult economic circumstances and they will rightly be looking for value for money, Siptu’s Jack O’Connor said today. “Buying Irish this Christmas is in the national interest in a very definite economic sense as well as being patriotic,” he claimed. “The cost of not doing so is far greater than the short term benefit from any particular price differential.”
He joins the Lord Mayor of Dublin Eibhlin Byrne who recently urged people to “show civic patriotism and make a special effort to do some focused shopping in the city.”
Hmm, while obviously widespread job losses brought about by a massive transfer of business overseas would be disastrous, it’s hardly fair to expect hard-pressed consumers to continue to pay very high prices if bargains are to be easily found elsewhere. Surely the responsibility lies with retailers to drive prices down, even if it is as the expense of diminished profits in the short term?
MONDAY UPDATE irishtimes.com poll question today is asking: Do you think it is fair to ask consumers to forgo better value in the North or overseas in order to support the Republic’s retailers during the recession?
So far, the answer is a fairly comprehensive no…