Here’s a fascinating report from RTÉ on comments by the Republic of Ireland’s Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, responding to queries about the Budget on RTÉ Radio this morning.
The Minister for Finance has said an increase in the number of people travelling North of the border to do their shopping had made things ‘very, very difficult’ when he was framing the Budget.
He said there was huge loss of revenue to Northern Ireland, because of the number of goods and services being purchased there by shoppers from the Republic. The Minister said this substantial expenditure meant the Government had to impose higher taxes for essential public services.
Minister Lenihan said this was the consequence if people opted to buy in another State. He said the only substantial ‘compensatory payment’ the State was getting for the loss of revenue was from Northern motorists who cross the border for cheaper petrol. The Minister said this informed his decision not to increase the excise on a litre of petrol by more than eight cent.
As former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said, of the future of the administrations here and there, “people will just have to be tolerant of that..”