30/11/2009

Cross Border Shopping Trips 'Costing Jobs'

An Irish retail group has claimed one job was lost in Ireland's retail sector every 150th shopping trip to the north.

Retail Ireland, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) group that represents the Irish retail sector, today published an assessment of the jobs to be lost due to cross-border shopping during November and called for remedial action in the Budget.

Retail Ireland Director Torlach Denihan said: "Cross-border shopping during November will result in approximately 1700 people loosing their jobs. The impact over the weekend alone will be approximately 400 job losses. If cross-border shopping continues at this rate during December similar numbers of jobs will be lost, with particular devastation in border counties - Cavan, Donegal, Louth and Monaghan.

Mr Denihan added that the total cost to the State in income tax lost and social welfare payments for the November job losses will be €34m.

"Retail sales have fallen substantially due to the recession and cross-border shopping, caused by the 30% collapse in sterling over the last year. Decisive action is needed in the Budget to combat the problem and to encourage consumers to spend some of their 12% of disposable income.

Mr Denihan concluded "Retail Ireland put forward a number of initiatives to tackle the problem, including making retail jobs eligible for the Employment Subsidy Scheme, banning upward only rent reviews, abolishing the Retail Joint Labour Committees and working with local authorities so that they can reduce commercial rates."

(DW/KMcA)

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