“likely to further encourage shoppers in the Republic..”

Given the weekend briefings I’m sure, as with immigration policy, that the Republic of Ireland’s government were already aware of today’s announcements in the UK government’s pre-budget report. RTÉ mentions the tax-exemption on foreign dividends but the iol report identifies another area with potential implications for Ireland. [But it’s patriotic to buy Irish! – Ed] Indeed. Adds BBC report. More from RTÉ – “ultimate act of patriotic sabotage.”

The tax [VAT] reduction, set to be introduced on December 1, is likely to further encourage shoppers in the Republic to make to journey North in an effort to save money on their Christmas shopping.

And the RTÉ report also notes

It coincides with the introduction of a 0.5% increase in VAT in Ireland. The Government announced in October’s Budget that the rate would go up from 21% to 21.5%.

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  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    This is not and never has been a complex question. London will say, ‘jump’, and Dublin will say, ‘how high?’

  • iluvni

    Are we still getting our big hand-out from the Republic’s Government to improve things up here? You know, the one they promised us a while back.
    Havent heard much about it recently.

  • George

    There is no VAT on food in the Republic so VAT is not the main issue for crossing the border to shop.

    It’s the profiteering of southern retailers and the fact that sterling is doing a good impersonation of a 1920s Reichsmark.

    Also, the drop in VAT is not a big issue for the UK. It will cost them a measly 2 billion. This when they are going to have a budget deficit of around 110 billion next year. It could actually be worse.

    This VAT gesture is a meaningless sop to the British taxpayer. What it really is intended to do is to stop some retailers going insolvent in the immediate future because things are that bad. By and large, the VAT drop won’t be passed on by them.

    It won’t reinvigorate high street spending. It’s the equivalent of trying to hold back the tide with a sieve.

    If I was a northerner I’d be more worried about the subsequent decade of penury to bring the national debt of over a trillion that has been flagged rather than the 2 billion VAT bill.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    Aye indeed, if I were a northerner I’d be more worried about my own future economic circumstances than the folks over the ‘border’ in the ROI!

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “Are we still getting our big hand-out from the Republic’s Government to improve things up here? You know, the one they promised us a while back.”
    – Obviously, you must have been out cold or something for the last while, but I’ll inform you in any way that there’s a wee global economic crisis happening at the mo. But I’m sure the Republic of Ireland will assist you financially in anyway once it is all over!

    “London will say, ‘jump’, and Dublin will say, ‘how high?’ ”
    – …and of course you must mean the London Olympics in 2012?

  • KieranJ

    For all intents and purposes, Newry is in the Republic.

    Don’t believe it? Just ask the RUC/PSNI.

  • cynic

    Ah inst it great to see that the Irish Government fully acknowledge that NI is part of a different political entity and not really in ‘Ireland’

    But isn’t it also strange to now worry about Irish shoppers going north when for years the Irish turned a blind eye to southern entrepreneurs exporting large quantities of fuel to the north. No doubt the boys will now be doing a roaring trade the other way on luxury goods for the Christmas market – butter, meat, flour, washing powder, childrens’ clothes, that sort of thing.

  • cynic

    “Newry is in the Republic”

    ….and so many of us wish it were.

  • pacman

    “….and so many of us wish it were.”

    including the vast majority of us who live here.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “….and so many of us wish it were.”

    I suppose it may as well be Cynic with the amount of Irish shoppers up there! They’re taking over the place I believe! Next they’ll be buying homes up there if the prices are cheaper!

    But would you rather have the wealthier Irish shoppers remain in the Republic to do there shopping whilst denying your London exchequer the much needed extra tax revenue?

    Why the muted tone of indignation?

  • Glencoppagagh

    Goerge
    You’re absolutely right about the uncompetitive nature of retailing in Ireland. It arises from having a small market and adoption of the Euro which is an irrelevance as far as Irish consumers are concerned since it’s impractical for them to shop in another Euro state.
    It has not been attractive for Northerners to shop across the border for as long as I can remember even when sterling was strong, apart from motor fuel due to tax anomalies.
    Meanwhile, sterling’s weakness will be causing Irish exporters to squeal since the UK is still their main market and what do you think an independent Irish currency would be worth now?

  • iluvni

    So thats a ‘no’ then, Greagoir O’Frainclin?
    promises, promises, eh?

  • Republic of Connaught

    Iluvni, when the English fools stop giving NI handouts the Irish fools will have to take over. Until then… learn to use other parts of the body other than the outstretched hand 🙂

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “So thats a ‘no’ then, Greagoir O’Frainclin?
    promises, promises, eh? ”

    Yes, indeed it is iluvni.

    Are you very disappointed?

  • Greenflag

    GC

    ‘Meanwhile, sterling’s weakness will be causing Irish exporters to squeal since the UK is still their main market ‘

    No it’s not . It takes less than 25% of exports down from 90% back before we joined the European Union in 1973 . Sterling’s multiple devaluations against the German Mark back in the 70’s did nothing to improve British manufacturing performance . Quite the opposite in fact .

    cynic ,

    “Newry is in the Republic”

    ….and so many of us wish it were.

    I said that ‘repartition’ couldwork and here’s a real case example . If Newry were shunted into the Republic that could be great for businesses in Banbridge and Bangor . Ooops the cat’s out of the bag now 🙁

  • Congal Claen

    Hi All,

    The VAT thing is fek all. Ye only save £2.12 per £100 spend. Retailers up here are already slashing by way more than that. Not just Newry either. I was in Belfast on Sunday and there were loads of Mexicans – and the more the merrier. It’s great to see them.

    Of a far bigger concern for the Republic is whether Obama continues to let the US companies offshore their profits. If that happens ye’re fekked big time. But then we’re all fekked anyhow. The housing bubble had to burst and that really is where our joint problems lie – not the US housing market, our own. Just goes to show ye how alike we all are…

    BTW, whatabout a 3 for 1 offer on Newry? Ye can have Strabane and the city side of Derry (minus the niced walled bit) for free. That must be why there’s that corner up there…

  • George

    Congal,
    I hate to break this to you but you’re the Mexicans in the current scenario, not us. Sterling is the peso here and it’s us driving over to spend money and your boys and girls sneaking over our border looking for our jobs and eying up our women.

    Glencoppagh,
    Meanwhile, sterling’s weakness will be causing Irish exporters to squeal since the UK is still their main market and what do you think an independent Irish currency would be worth now?

    The Republic doesn’t do “independent” currencies, it never has. Our economy is too small for that. We had a 1 to 1 link with sterling until 1979 when we joined the EU’s exchange rate mechanism.

    As things stand, (they change every day so who knows where we will be next week) I’d rather be in Ireland’s position. It has virtually all its debt in euros, hasn’t paid out a cent to the banks yet, a 20 billion pension reserve to recapitalise if necessary and no national debt.

    We’ll see how “independent” sterling is in the coming months. If Soros could bring it to its knees in the early 90s what makes you think it won’t be hammered again?