By Bridget Fitzsimons | Sep 23 2008PRICES in the Students’ Union (SU) controlled shops have risen by up to fifteen per cent on last year. Prices for hot beverages, such as tea and coffee have increased from €1 to €1.15.SU President, Aodhán Ó Deá defended the price increases, stating that new beverage machinery bought for the shops during the summer is to blame for the rise in prices. “We had to get new machines for tea and coffee set up down there and there is actually a big cost involved in that”.Mr Ó Deá continued to defend the price increase, explaning that while prices have “been kept at €1 for a good while and there was always talk of bringing it up over the past few years.” Adding that the increases are “reasonable”, Mr Ó Deá argued that if prices are to be augmented “there’s no point bringing it up by five cent.”Acknowleding that the price increase reflects badly on the SU, Mr Ó Dea admitted that one of his election promises was to “fight off rip-off merchants around campus” in relation to tea and coffee. However, defending the decision to raise prices, Mr Ó Deá argued that he had been referred to “other places on campus. Say, Insomnia, where its @1.80, or Starbucks coffee down in Elements is @2.50 and I think that’s ridiculous.”Arguing that the SU shops are the cheapest place for beverages on campus for students, Mr O Dea was adamant that the shops “don’t make a profit, they’re not there to make a profit. They’re there to break even, and they are breaking even.” He is confident that they are providing beverages “as cheap as we can and its just over a euro. There’s no need for it to be more than that.”When questioned about the student reaction to the increases, Mr Ó Dea argued that students should not “for one second think that extra 15 cent is going somewhere else because its just going back into that shop to develop it”.