Quality and unions keep the prices high

Western Daily Press - - Opinion -

TO dis­pute a let­ter in Wed­nes­day’s Western Daily Press: the French do not op­er­ate a price-fix­ing mo­nop­oly in their su­per­mar­kets. If you shop around like you can in the UK you will find large dif­fer­ences be­tween su­per­mar­ket chains. Check­ing the French con­sumer as­so­ci­a­tion web­site, Que Choisir, in terms of the cheap­est, that ti­tle goes to Le­clerc, and most ex­pen­sive Mono­prix. On a stan­dard shop­ping bas­ket the dif­fer­ence is 67 eu­ros.

That French prices are dearer is true but that mostly is due to be­ing of bet­ter quality than the UK, es­pe­cially the fruit and veg. The meat is of far bet­ter quality and you can get waste fat and tis­sue re­moved at the butch­ers be­fore it is weighed. The main rea­son for more ex­pense is the French labour code that ap­plies to all em­ploy­ers and the trade unions’ power in pre­vent­ing cost re­duc­tions.

The fact that cig­a­rettes are only sold in tabacs is be­cause they are the only shops li­censed to sell to­bacco prod­ucts, sim­i­lar to Spain. Headache pills are not 10 times the price here. The fi­nance min­is­ter in France is cur­rently push­ing to end the phar­macy mo­nop­oly on non-pre­scrip­tion medicines. Try and buy parac­eta­mol in a chemist here and it is ex­pen­sive com­pared to a su­per­mar­ket.

The UK govern­ment opted to have pass­ports pro­duced in Europe not be­cause it had to. It could have cho­sen a UK sup­plier on grounds of se­cu­rity. Be­cause they wanted a cheap deal don’t blame EU rules, blame Bri­tish govern­ment.

S Po­ple We­ston-su­per-Mare

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.