People bulk buying are 'wasting their money' says Humphreys

People who are engaging in bulk purchasing or panic buying are “wasting their money” and causing unnecessary problems, Business Minister Heather Humphreys has said.

People bulk buying are 'wasting their money' says Humphreys

People who are engaging in bulk purchasing or panic buying are “wasting their money” and causing unnecessary problems, Business Minister Heather Humphreys has said.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin alongside Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Ms Humphreys said she welcomed the decision of the Revenue Commissioners to give reliefs to viable businesses who are likely to encounter cashflow problems in the coming days.

But pressed by reporters about the continued instances of large numbers of people appearing at major supermarkets, she said the government has ensured proper supply chains of food are in place.

“There is no need to do this. You are wasting your money, act normally, there is no need to be bulk buying. Go about your business as normal,” she said.

She also ruled out any wholesale closure of non-food stores as has been the case in Italy.

Asked about the impact of the crisis on government formation talks, Mr Donohoe said the work of containing the struggle of the virus is taking priority today and tomorrow, hinting that contacts with Fianna Fáil could occur as early as Sunday.

He said detailed contacts would have to occur ahead of the Dáil's next sitting next Thursday when emergency legislation will be tabled for passage.

Mr Donohoe said he and his officials will be engaging with AIB and other banks in the coming days over its decision to introduce new charges for people using contactless payments, at a time when cash transactions are being actively discouraged.

“We will be engaging with all the banks on this and all other issues,” said Mr Donohoe who would not go as far as criticising the bank.

“I will have a variety of different issues that I will have to raise with the banks in the coming weeks,” he said.

Mr Donohoe said he welcomed statements from the Central Bank of Ireland and Revenue Commissioners, which seek to give clarity and reassurance to those businesses and households impacted by the outbreak of COVlD-19.

Revenue outlined a number of measures, dealing with, among other things, VAT returns and tax clearance certs, as well as detailing advice aimed at assisting SMEs who may be experiencing cashflow and trading difficulties as a result of the impact of COVlD-19.

“Acknowledging people's concerns is the first step in assuaging them. People should be reassured that Ireland is coming at this from a position of strength and that everything that can be done is being done to deal with this public health crisis. We can, and we will, get through this,” he said.

“It is true to say that both the societal and economic response to the COVID 19 outbreak is evolving rapidly. However, this is not reflected in the available economic data. Data on economic developments is published with a lag which can extend to be weeks or months depending on the indicator,” he added.

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