Blow the wind southerly

With the pound hitting a record low against the euro on the eve of Gordon Brown’s “recovery programme”, it’s an ill wind for the UK generally that blows fairer for Northern Ireland. A weak pound works wonders for selling to southerners, as has been well noted before today.

“Northern Ireland has seen the biggest influx of cross border traffic since the 1970s especially after a National Consumer Agency Ireland June report revealed that a basket of goods is 30% cheaper in Northern Ireland.”

It’s great to see too that NI exporters are the most export hungry in the UK.
“Businesses in Northern Ireland are the most likely to export, with 52 per cent planning to sell overseas in the coming year.”

However these small green shoots do little to dispel the wider gloom of impending UK recession. Expectations of today’s plans to ease fuel poverty and help house buyers could hardly be lower. According to a Populus poll for the Times. the expected proposals “are very popular with voters, but only a small minority think they will make a significant difference to their economic situation. While 58 per cent support a one-off windfall tax on energy companies, just 22 per cent think it will make a significant difference, and 73 per cent little or no difference.”

Let’s see if Gordon can buck the trend set by the Chancellor after that disastrous interview.

  • OC

    Hope this isn’t off-topic, but a co-worker had a house in Surrey, and he told me that most houses are built on land that is merely leased, for 100 years or such.

    Was he pulling my leg? And if not, how does this affect the housing market? Especially as the lease comes to an end.

  • frustrated democrat

    The problem that will have to be faced is the inflation that will be caused by the drop of stg v the dollar. oil good from China etc etc.

    A 10% drop against the dollar is very serious for all those cheap Chinese imports we have all become used to.

  • Harry Flashman

    “A 10% drop against the dollar is very serious for all those cheap Chinese imports we have all become used to.”

    I agree it’s not looking good but I wish we could stop treating people like pre-programmed sheep, if Chinese goods become too expensive we’ll stop buying them. If credit card debt becomes too much of a burden we’ll cut them up.

    This idea that we’re all automatons addicted to debt and overspending is nonsense, we’re in for a very bad eighteen months, many of us are going to suffer severe reductions in wealth and at the end of it we’ll be substantially poorer, a lot wiser and a bit more sensible.

    By which time a lot of idiots in the financial service industry and the present government will be enjoying well earned retirement and we will all get on again with running our lives and bringing up our families, a bit chastened but a lot wiser.

    It’s going to be bad I’m dreading what’s coming but it ain’t the end of the world, we’ll get back and we’ll (hopefully!) have learned our lessons for the next time around. More likely we’ll be the cranky old grandparents berating our grandchildren about their spendthrift ways telling them about the hardships we suffered and they’ll roll their eyes up to heaven telling us in that bright way we’ve all experienced “Ah come on gramps, it’s not like it was in your day, this time it’s different”.

  • joeCanuck

    The lease on my house in N.I. was for 999 years, OC. Just before I left, a law was passed which mandated landowners to sell the freehold to the leaseholder at a reasonable price.

  • wild turkey


    Aren’t the Brown proposals re the housing market exclusive to england/wales? As such they will not apply to Norn Ironland.

    Any comparable package would have to be developed and implemented by our hyper-active executive and assembly.

    The omens are not looking good. As I recall the last Stormont intervention in the housing market was to stop funding the co-ownership scheme.

    northern ireland open for business

  • slug

    Low pound good for farmers, exporting manufacturers, and NI food retailers.

  • frustrated democrat


    For manufacturers it is not that simple, it depends on what currency they buy their raw materials are in, for farmers it will see their feed and fuel bills rocket again.

    So no it is not that simple inflation does no one any good we NEED an increase in interest rates to stabilise the economy after Darling’s disastrous intervention

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    “Businesses in Northern Ireland are the most likely to export, with 52 per cent planning to sell overseas in the coming year.”

    What % of ‘overseas’ exports are going to ROI? To place Non Iron in a UK context ( a league table of exporters) is misleading given the reality of the geographical, political, social etc lnks with the South.

    Similar consideration of the ROI needs to be given to the analysis of house prices movement in Non Iron.

  • Youse northeners are going to take all of our money sob…sob..sob

  • barnshee

    “What % of ‘overseas’ exports are going to ROI? ”

    In reality very little. The big “export ” item used to be fuel–most of which was smuggled back
    To NI the RoI exports mostly booze (guiness etc and busmills /cork products why go up and downso to speak)

    Cross border traffic is mostly south north
    (ask HMRC they should know
    Apart from booze there is no real market for each others products

  • Slug
    there is an exodus ( no other way to describe it) from Letterkenny and surrounding area to Strabane & Derry every week.

    The shopkeepers in Donegal are yelping, but the arithmetic is unanswerable.

  • Greenflag

    ‘but a co-worker had a house in Surrey, and he told me that most houses are built on land that is merely leased, for 100 years or such.’

    It’s a left over from the Norman occupation of 1066 . The Duke of Westminster owns most of the land in and around Chelsea area and up to a few years ago and perhaps still gathers ‘revenue’ from ‘home owners ‘. The French of course resolved this ‘sore’ issue back in 1789 by guillotining the aristos . The English never thought of that when they removed King Charles back in 1649 ?

    The Saxons never did get their land back but they did win the right to own the property on the land and then in empire building days the latter were outsourced to other parts of the world to find ‘land ‘ which they could own albeit based on the same principle or lack of principle which the Normans used to ‘steal ‘ England and later of course Wales and much of Scotland and Ireland .

    I would guess that it’s possible to buy out ‘lease ‘ land for most properties in the UK now although I’ve no idea what a ‘reasonable ‘ price would be ? Best to buy property that’s already freehold .

  • The Raven

    Greenflag, naive as I am in these things, are we talking about the £26 I send some old dear in Surrey every year? Or am I getting confused with ground rent?? Anyway the ground rent thing is nine times the amount.

    Sorry if I am completely looking at the wrong thing here!!

  • Greenflag

    Raven ,

    ‘When in doubt on matters ground rent , leaseing , ground annuals etc etc blame the Normans 🙂

    I wrote 12 above as a kind of ‘tongue in cheeker’ to OC as I contemplated what actually happens at the end of a 999 year lease . Nobody has as yet run out on a 999 year lease .

    Being a non payer of ground rents , ground annuals or any other form of Duck of Westminsters annual stipends I decided to revisit this convoluted canard .

    I wikepedied for a quick review and gave up when I came to the following . It was the ‘Lords of Erection’ I kid you not that finally convinced me that these matters are best dealt with by a qualified legal property advisor 🙂


    ‘In Scots law, the term ground rent is not employed, but its place is taken, for practical purposes, by the ground-annual, which bears a double meaning. (i.) At the time of the Reformation in Scotland, the lands of the Church were parcelled out by the crown into various lordships, the grantees being called Lords of Erection. In the 17th century these Lords of Erection resigned their superiorities to the crown, with the exception of the feu-duties, which were to be retained till a price agreed upon for their redemption had been paid. This reserved power of redemption was, however, resigned by the crown on the eve of the Union and the feu-duties became payable in perpetuity to the Lords of Erection as a ground-annual. ‘

    PS . Feu is obviously the root word for feudal and means ‘fire’ in French .

    Ground rents are a feudal leftover as are ground annuals .