Proposed ban on two-for-one offers in shops condemned in the Dáil

The prospect of the Government banning two-for-one offers in shops and supermarkets has been bitterly condemned in the Dáil.

inn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald suggested that the measure was envisaged by the Green Party as a way of reducing consumption and waste.

A Green Party spokesman confirmed the draft measure was part of a Waste Action Plan under preparation by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, party leader Eamon Ryan.

But the Taoiseach said: “Nothing has come before Government in terms of two-for-one offers.”

The Government’s programme will be published next week, including the Climate Bill, he acknowledged. The Programme for Government had committed to publishing such a draft flaw in the first 100 days of the new coalition.

“There is a consistent trend of being populist on these issues,” he said, whereby Opposition generally supported the alleviation of climate change — but balked at carbon taxes and other specific measures.

A Government spokesman said: “The Waste Action Plan was approved by cabinet on July 27th. The plan outlines a number of proposals which will be brought forward over the coming years.

“Specific proposals around tackling food waste will have to be developed further before coming back to cabinet.

“Any such measures will to be carefully designed to ensure that they do not impact on lower-income households.”

Ms McDonald said that as she understood the “propositions from Eamon Ryan,” they were “wholly unacceptable and frankly off the wall, and entirely out of touch with the day to day realities of ordinary families.”

The answer was not to target the very households that had borne the brunt of the Covid emergency, and which had struggled to get their kids back to school and who would struggle again at Christmas, she said.

“Have a word with your Government colleagues,” she urged.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett agreed they were “off-the-wall” proposals, but the said there were others – including the targeting of taxi-drivers, whose earnings had collapsed.

“Taxi drivers were not able to earn a living during the lockdown, have had very little business since, and now they have Eamon Ryan urging “that they get out of the bus lanes as if they are not part of the public transport network,” he said.

The idea amounted to “kicking taxi drivers when they are down,” Mr Boyd Barrett said. “I hope you will tell Minister Ryan that is not acceptable.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said Mr Ryan was always up for negotiation and dialogue.

A Green Party spokesman said this idea had developed via a Green councillor on Dublin City Council and was under consideration in that forum.

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