Irish school publishers reject "rip off" claim

<p>Irish school-book publishers have rejected claims made by Fine Gael education spokesman Brian Hayes that they are ripping off parents. Hayes accused publishers of &quot;money-making rackets&quot; and said that parents were being &quot;ripped off&quot;.<br /><br />The political party compared the price lists for nine school-book publishing companies for the upcoming academic year with the prices for the same books last year. &quot;It&#39;s clear that across the board price rises have been put in place by some school-book publishers.&quot; said Hayes. &quot;Other publishers are behaving responsibly by freezing or even slightly lowering prices from last year.&quot;</p><p>Publishers have responded by rejecting some of Hayes&#39; figures, reported the <em>Irish Independent</em>; Hayes stood by them, although he conceded that he was incorrect in claiming that school books attract 21% VAT. </p><p>Anthony Murray, educational publisher at Gill &amp; Macmillan, denied the claims: &quot;Some of our prices have been frozen, some have decreased and there have been no price increases of any kind since January 2009,&quot; He said. &quot;There is further glaring factual error in the report in that there is no VAT of 21% on school books&quot;.<br /><br />Hayes said publisher Fallons had increased prices for its primary school range by 7%, but the company said only four of its 250 titles saw that level of increase, because of significant extra interactive support material. The publisher said its prices went up 2% across the primary school range, with over 100 titles remaining at last year&#39;s prices.<br /><br />The company sought an amendment of Hayes&#39; original release, but yesterday (26th August) he refused to do so.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> </p>