27/11/2008

Executive Welcome For Southern Shoppers

With shoppers from the Irish Republic already heading north in droves to benefit from the strength of the Euro, and with the British Government plan to cut VAT in sight, a senior NI Executive politician has welcomed the influx.

Stormont Junior Minister Jeffrey Donaldson commented that traders in the South were able to undercut Northern Ireland's fuel prices for years and welcomed the fact that now, the "economic tables had turned".
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With next Monday, December 1st, set to further accelerate cross-border trade - as the Republic's VAT rate jumps from 21% to 21.5% - and Northern Ireland benefits from a reduction to just 15%, the DUP politician said: "I would encourage retailers in Northern Ireland to advertise to shoppers in the Republic to do their Christmas shopping in Northern Ireland and hopefully that would provide a boost to the economy."

"The recent cut in VAT means retailers in Northern Ireland are very well placed to offer some attractive prices to shoppers in the Republic," he said. "The tables have turned," he said, noting that, "It was not so long ago that our retailers were suffering when it worked the other way around."

Previous economic conditions, including the relative strength of the Euro and Sterling, plus lower fuel duty in Ireland, had seen northern shoppers travelling south, he believed.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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