Premier, the Honourable Reuben T. Meade has issued a response to a letter sent to him by Barrister at law David S. Brandt. In the letter Dated January 17, 2014, Mr. Brandt called on the Government of Montserrat to put measures in place to ensure that the island’s consumers are protected.
There was a subsequent call from the local barrister for government to appoint a price control officer.
The issues highlighted in Mr. Brandt’s letter to the Premier pertained to some supermarkets, which, in his words “are taking advantage of the people of the island.
Mr. Brandt voiced his concerns about the health risks associated with the sale of expired food items.
In his pointed response, Premier Meade says it is a serious matter that proper receipts are not being provided by supermarkets here.
Mr. Meade says government is taking action to correct this anomaly.
As regards health and safety, the government leader says these are taken quite seriously although he is assured that the Environmental Health Department continues to be most vigilant.
The Premier says that in relation to penalties for breaches of the law, the Penal Code is currently under review and the issue of sentencing is being considered.
On the question of Price Control, He points to a decision that is being undertaken by Montserrat and the rest of the region to graduate to a competition policy.
Mr. Meade says this is seen as the best way of providing cost effective and economic prices to consumers.
The leader of government business says they are quite simply planning to encourage wholesalers and retailers to shop around for goods of the appropriate standards and the best prices.
Premier Meade says government is assured that the public interest will be better served through competition policy although some products will continue to be surveilled in accordance with the distribution and price of goods. .