Feeling the pinch when your energy bill comes through the letterbox? Energy companies operating in Ireland have been accused of “profiteering”, according to the Irish Independent this week. The paper report that Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, is considering meeting with these companies to discuss why falling energy prices aren’t being passed on to Irish consumers.
In other news, The Irish Times‘ Conor Pope writes this week of smaller sweet sizes without accompanying price falls. Pope gives the example of Unilever, which recently announced that it would reduce the size of its single serving ice-creams, ostensibly to help consumers make healthy lifestyle changes. “Our products will still taste as good as ever, but through a process of development and resizing we will ensure our entire single-serve ice cream portfolio will contain 250 calories or fewer,” said Noel Clarke, Brand Building Director for Ice Cream, Unilever UK & Ireland.
Finally, bad news for the Irish health system as this week it emerged that Ireland was ranked 21 out of 35 in the European Consumer Health Index. Though our healthcare ranked high in terms of access to pharmaceuticals, access to services is another matter. The report noted that “contrary to popular belief, not least among healthcare politicians, waiting lists do not save money – they cost money! Healthcare is basically a process industry. As any professional manager from such an industry would know, smooth procedures with a minimum of pause or interruption is key to keeping costs low!”