THE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL "Rip Off Ireland" mini-series has elevated "value for money" into a major public debate throughout Ireland. Yet if you're worried about prices of goods and services in Ireland, what would Eddie Hobbs want you to do? I pulled some things from an article he wrote¹ and here are his conclusons:
- Abolish the Groceries Order. As Hobbs explains, "The order hits consumers by making it illegal to pass on invoice discounts". From personal experience, I know my average grocery shopping basket costs 15% more in Ireland than in Germany. Why is that a good thing that deserves government protection?
- Introduce a Register of Lobbyists.
- Require all meetings between big business and those in administration to be minuted and available on government websites for public scrutiny.
- Establish timeframes and identifiable value-for-money targets before awarding future increases in public sector pay.
- Increase funding for the Competition Authority.
- Act swiftly on Competition Authority studies into the legal profession, banking and insurance industries.
- Compel dentists to publish their prices.
- Levy an additional development land tax to pressurise those hoarding large development land banks to release them swiftly onto the market.
- Speed up the planning process.
¹Eddie Hobbs -- "How Rip Off Republic Can Help Us Solve Our Problems" in The Sunday Business Post, September 4, 2005.
Damien Mulley -- "If the criticism in Rip Off Republic and its presentation style has managed to focus minds on the complex solutions needed to address these problems, the programme has done its job".
Fine Gael -- "Getting Tax Back"
This post includes a picture of Eddie Hobbs.