Consumers told to guard themselves against price gouging

Deschamp said he expects the price on some food items to go down

Consumers in Dominica have been advised to guard themselves against the gouging of prices of food items after Hurricane Maria since the government has reduced duties on foodstuff.

Comptroller of Custom Roderick Deschamps said that he expects businesses to capitalize on the reduced rates and pass it on to the consumer.

“And consumers again are asked to guard themselves against the gouging of prices on these food items,” he stated.

There have been reports that prices of items are being raised on the island by those who wanted to cash in on the devastation caused by Maria.

The matter has even attracted the attention of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who described the practice as ‘unfair,’ saying the government has reduced the duties on many items including foodstuff.

Speaking at the daily government press briefing on Wednesday, Deschamp said the commercial sector was given an avenue to take advantage of the reduced rates.

“Foodstuff mainly attract duties of practically 45 percent and some can reach as high as 150 percent, especially in the case of carrots and other frozen vegetables,” he said. “Some juices attract duties of approximately 130 percent. The Prime Minister took the initiative and again I said to reduce the duties on foodstuff to 5.5 percent which signifies a vast reduction in duties.”

He stated that based on experience, he can go to any store, see any item and know what the duties are like.

“I will just take an example, carrots, which I believe the overall duty on carrot is about 126 percent, the duties have now been reduced to 5. 5 percent,” he said. “I am trying to understand the reasons why I would not expect carrots to drop in price …to me it makes no mathematical sense.”

Deschamp said he expects prices on food items to go down.

“I would expect, I am not sure if it is happening yet, that prices on the shelf, as the Prime Minister indicated, should go down,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Comptroller of Inland Revenue Irving Williams stated that retailers cannot be forced to sell goods at a particular price despite the reduction in duties.

With the reduction in duties, such as the non-payment of VAT, Willams said consumers expect to pay less for what they purchase but this may not necessarily be the case.

“Since no import duties are being charged at the port of entry, it is expected that the person who sells those goods should have a reduction in the cost of goods, therefore those items should be cheaper. Although such should be the case, no one can force the retailer to sell at a particular price. It is left for the business to be considerate and not take advantage of consumers,” he said.

He stated his opinion is that the waiver is to give people the opportunity to rebuild with as much ease as possible.

“So without import duties, goods are made cheaper than the ordinary person or every person who experience some disaster is able to recuperate. However the advice from me is that you don’t buy any item that is considered to be more expensive than its value,” he said.

 

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

31 Comments

  1. marie-claire R Skerrit
    November 13, 2017

    where are the regulations my people. only in Dominica.

  2. Tony
    November 10, 2017

    Hello and good morning my people. I want to address Mr Williams statement that businesses can charge any price they want. Mr Williams since you are the head of Inland Revenue which is the equivalent of the IRS in America where I reside .Can any citizen or business pay any amount of taxes they choose to. No rather the Inland Revenue sets the percentage they must pay. We need the Government to send inspectors to the businesses on a weekly basis to check their prices . I expect prices to go up by five but no more than ten percent which is understandable but not double. This kind of statement by Mr Williams makes me wonder what type of people we have holding important positions within our Government. Don’t our Government have a consumer price index for basic good that should prevent price gouging. Please put the port employees on two twelve hour shifts with Sunday of to remove the congestion so our family can pick up their packages.

  3. Shaka Zulu
    November 10, 2017

    Buyers have a choice not to buy or go to cheaper option. Then those who raise price will be stuck with merchandise and forced to lower. If buyer has no other options it is as i said supply and demand. I think there are those merchants who may over do it however buyers should have choices. If there are options and all merchants sell high there me a case of price fixing and i dont know if we have laws governing this.

    • chebé så
      November 12, 2017

      Im not sure there will be a cheaper option in a place like Dominica with little resources, competition or choice. This is the time where those who have means can tell the rest to suck salt. The havenots suffer st the whim of those who have. Like it ot not, that is the attitude created in Dominica by Skerritt and his cronies. Some of them were already praying for a disaster like this to take the attention away from them so the have an opportunity to capitalise on the aid resources being sent in.

  4. November 10, 2017

    Well we’ll complain till Jesus come

  5. Dominican
    November 10, 2017

    I’m sorry but you are highly offensive and show contempt for the vast majority of our people, who struggle just to survive. Most of us have no reserves in bank accounts, nor do we have a second passport that gives us easy access to countries like the U.S.A. and Canada. Many of us can not even get our passports renewed right now, if they are expired or lost/damaged in the hurricane because the registry is not functioning and they want full payment nonetheless. Meanwhile it is common knowledge that there are CB! agents selling our passports, who have plenty of U.S. $. stashed away in off-shore accounts. I’m afraid that whole passport business, especially the generous granting of diplomatic ones by our P.M., for payment or not, has not done anything to improve the lot of the common man or woman. On the contrary, it has put our country in a very bad light with our government losing a lot of credibility.

  6. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    November 9, 2017

    Despite the situation, those who sell to customers/Dominicans, should be considerate and not gouge them. Consider most of them have no money or very little money. They lost everything when Hurricane Maria struck. They have much to purchase to keep healthy. Where will they find the money to feed themselves, their family and to pay inflated prices?
    Do they not realize that even though they sell the produce at a reasonable cost, they could make more money than if they did not? They should use their common sense. No one can get rich by taking advantage of those who are in dire need of. In the end, they will lose all, and even Heaven. The Lord’s eye is upon you. He will not excuse you or exonerate you. Keep this in mind.
    In time Dominica will return to normal and you could sell your produce for a reasonable price to make a profit. In the meantime, go easy on those who are in dire need of. Never take advantage of a situation. The punishment will be severe.

    • I CARE
      November 11, 2017

      100% agree god will deal with them…

  7. Toni Williams
    November 9, 2017

    Looking for the family of Seraphine Frederick Lucien. Please help us find her and the family. . . contact number is 703-517-6035.

    • June
      November 9, 2017

      I know some lucien in the reserve so you can link up with someone who can locate her or them. Sorry i dont have numbers and now they have no telephone service

  8. Nothing but TRUTH
    November 9, 2017

    “So without import duties, goods are made cheaper than the ordinary person or every person who experience some disaster is able to recuperate”

    But what grammar is this nou? What is he trying to say nou? Is this a sentence? Mr not from Da man? Is he Haitian? Cant understand what he trying to say sorry. I trying to flip it around to see if I can make some sense of what he saying but awa

    • really
      November 9, 2017

      but look at your grammar . nou ????? and you forgot to put ‘is’ in some of your sentences

    • Me-Aloe
      November 9, 2017

      There is something called “Read” and understand….If you don’t understand ask someone who is better at comprehending to read and explain what was/is said. It seems like you did not read to understand but you kind of brushed through the words and stated something which makes absolutely not sense. Go back and do some reading

    • Danziger
      November 9, 2017

      The man family are Dominicans you ask him if he is a Hatian, you too RUDE.

    • November 9, 2017

      @Nothing but TRUTHNovember 9, 2017

      My thumbs rating to you went on the UP side; that was a mistake. If you know how to read DNO, you should notice that they explain a quote before write out directly from the speaker. Look above that quote. which you have criticised and you notice what I am saying

  9. Nothing but TRUTH
    November 9, 2017

    The average person has to pay his passage, pay hotel, rent car etc just to go and shop. Then he has to pay to have his merchandise delivered to the port, pay freight and when it gets to Dominica pay truck to move them. We not even talking about the time he spends shopping etc. But somehow when he puts his things on the shelf Skerrit wants to tell them how much to sell his stuff and what is fair and not fair. But does he ever tell us how much he selling our passports? Does he tell us how many passports he sells? Does he use those little boys of customs and elsewhere as we see today, to brief the press about what belongs to us? But his little boys will want to tell us how much we bought our tin stuff and how much we should sell them but not even Mano or Sam will come and honestly tell us the true cost of a passport. We have to wait on PM Gaston Brown of Antigua, tell us how much money we make a month on sale of passports

    • really
      November 9, 2017

      When you sit down on your throne in whatever country , Dont come here and talk sh*t .

    • The Darkness
      November 9, 2017

      OK… The AVERAGE affected Dominican has no current job, house, roof, vehicle, source of income or essential services… They have to now buy items and ridiculous prices and still support their families in the upcoming year… Don’t mention what rent may look like then.

      I hope they loot them next time… till nothing remains in the store.

      You all are too effin’ WICKED!

    • Me-Aloe
      November 9, 2017

      @Nothing but TRUTH….you are the only one who has to pay your passage, pay hotel, rent car to go shop just to send a barrel over to your family. If things are that bad , why go through the stress? Just send the money instead

      • UK Dominican
        November 10, 2017

        So they can buy food locally at inflated prices and fill the exploiters’ pockets? Are you a merchant by any chance?

    • Nothing but Truth
      November 9, 2017

      All you criticized me but not enlightened me, Again my questions are, how much for our diplomatic passport? Does Skerrit have a regulated price or agents sell for whatever price they feel like? Is there duty free concession on our diplomatic passports.
      If Skerrit can give us answers to these basic questions then it is alright to tell us how much to sell our merchandise for. But if he selling to whomever and for whatever cost then don’t tell me how much to sell my stuff for.

    • UK Dominican
      November 10, 2017

      Dominica too d*mn expensive. Leave the place to those leaches that live off our backs and sell us inferior goods, seconds and close-outs, stock lots and nearly expired goods.

  10. Shaka Zulu
    November 9, 2017

    Law of supply and demand. You want it really bad it scarce and you willing to pay for it why not. It will correct itself.

    • November 9, 2017

      @Shaka Zulu

      Then the merchants would start abusing the buyers, on the grounds that they have no choice because they need the stuff. Where selling and buying is concerned, there has to be price control, or else there would be more chaos than we are already facing

    • Gary
      November 10, 2017

      The Law of supply and demand is a capitalist invention, it is metaphor used to glorify greed. It bewilders me why such thing should be called a Law.

  11. Hot & Cold
    November 9, 2017

    “I will just take an example, carrots, which I believe the overall duty on carrot is about 126 percent, the duties have now been reduced to 5. 5 percent,” he said. “I am trying to understand the reasons why I would not expect carrots to drop in price …to me it makes no mathematical sense.”

    Mr. Roderick Deschamps, why are grown and educated people like you allow Skerrit to make you all look and sound like fools nou? How can you even use carrots as an example when we all know that the price fluctuates based on season. Example I reside in NY and there are times I will get 4lbs of carrots for $1.00 and at times 1lb for $2.00 so how can you even suggest to people how much they should sell?

    Here is what you need to ask Skerrit so you could work the duties and final price: Ask him how much is the price of a DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT. Find out if there is duty free concession on it; find out if all agents/ dealers have same price. If the answer is NO tell him why he not regulating the price

    • really
      November 9, 2017

      Once again when you sit down on your throne in america . dont come here and say things you dont know . You in america , talk about what happening up there . You have no idea what happening in Dominica . You all staying all you all lives in america and then coming and say how to run Dominica . We are the ones in Dominica feeling the heat while you in america in the cold

      • Nothing but Truth
        November 9, 2017

        You in Da? Lie that!!! So you in Da and you can’s tell me how much for a diplomatic passport; you cannot tell me if Skerrit reduced the duty on them. Gaso you lying fool time lol

    • Me-Aloe
      November 9, 2017

      It looks like some people just want to start something. Some of all you Domnichen too bad for me papa. All your pawoll is about passport. Tell me what country does not sell passports. Sak wey sot. When an entrangey reads what you said, they will do more investigation…. Hope some of the crabs remain in the bottom of the barrel. Twet!!!!!!

    • Anna lou
      November 9, 2017

      You a** stop hiding and charging name.to criticize.. A dam woman baby.mama went to LA Supermarket in.glanvillia to buy a tin of baby milk which was $64. 00 before hurricane Maria and a few days after she went there to get the same milk and it was $95.00…. So shut your dirty mouth and stop.blaming Sherrit for that foolishness.. Do.you thknk.that is fair… You must have a supermarket and that hit you so you making debar..

    • I CARE
      November 11, 2017

      hot and cold seriously, u can’t sit and compare carrot in America with Dominica. I live in America too and I don’t talk like that. The people are facing hard times and they use the hurricane as an advantage to force high prices on poor people that trying to survive under this condition. I can understand if there wasn’t a chronic problem here. There is nothing about price fluctuation and season it’s morally wrong to use a disaster, and just take advantage of people. $15.00 for a dasheen u finding that is right? what about the less fortunate? When u tell me how u are going to feed the hungry, u will tell me about America and their carrot. We are all entitled to our opinions, but reality is reality, u are not in the fire feeling the heat so be a little sensitive….

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available