independent

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Call for a better deal for traders

David Tucker

Vincent Jennings. Photo: Brendan Lyon
Vincent Jennings. Photo: Brendan Lyon

WEXFORD shop owners deserve a better deal from the Government, according to the chief executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents' Association.

WEXFORD shop owners deserve a better deal from the Government, according to the chief executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents' Association.

Vincent Jennings called on the Government to curb the endless red tape imposed on shop owners throughout the county as the vast array of legislation and compliance regulations makes the cost of doing business incredibly time consuming and expensive.

He said wages in the sector account for 65% of total overheads and any upward pressure on wage costs will seriously impact on the future of many shops more severely than any other cost increase. Business is down 20% over the past four years and 800 shops have closed during that time. Every five to seven years shop owners used to revamp their premises but many can no longer afford to do this, he told the CSNA's annual general meeting.

Mr. Jennings urged the Government to make a special case and lift the recruitment embargo on the customs service in order to tackle tobacco smuggling, illicit alcohol, fuel laundering and video piracy. He said the continuing high levels of illicit trade are causing real hardship to the retail sector and members are very aware of the importance that tobacco sales have in our stores.

The CSNA called on Health Minister, Dr. James Reilly TD, to immediately publish the results of a Public Consultation process undertaken as part of the EU Draft Directive on Tobacco.

'It is inconceivable that the results of the Consultation have not, four and a half months after closure, yet been published. Is it any wonder that a meeting took place between members of the Tobacco industry and the Taoiseach, Mr Kenny and his Justice and Finance Ministers when the Minister for Health is not relaying to his cabinet colleagues the concerns and effects that the EU Draft Directive would have upon the legitimate tobacco retailing industry?,' said Mr. Jennings.

Wexford People

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