“People are free to travel to Northern Ireland.”

No doubt with his mind on the recently published figures on the activities of Irish shoppers, the BBC have picked up on comments by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, as reported in the Sunday Independent.

Mr Lenihan is confident that the expected ending of the VAT reductions in the UK as well as increased taxes will eliminate the attraction of heading north, but he is not ruling out a move on VAT in the Budget. Speaking about his plans to react appropriately to Britain’s upcoming budget, he said: “We didn’t know last year that the British were bringing down their vat rate, but at least this year the British budget is first, so I will study closely what happens before I make any decision.” But he reiterated the need for Irish shoppers to maintain loyalty to their local businesses: “People are free to travel to Northern Ireland. Just appreciate that, in a very difficult time, any tax you pay is not supporting our State.”

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  • Steve

    The difference in excise & VAT rates between the 2 states in Ireland is a factor but the more significant factor is the collapse of sterling.

  • fin

    Will 2.5% on VAT make a huge difference.

    As locally this only creates low low level retail jobs with little or no intelligence needed, employers can just cut salaries to keep prices down.

  • DC

    I hear the Tories are going to put a small % of VAT on food and nudge VAT up on other stuff to 20%.

  • borderline

    The demise of sterling versus the euro, and the existence of the border is whipping the southern retail industry into shape.

  • Dave

    It’s interesting how Shinner supporters and other so-called nationalists are actively promoting the best interests of Her Majesty’s Treasury over the best interests of the Irish state without any sense of self-awareness. In reality, they are just loyal and patriotic British citizens promoting the British state while imagining themselves as the opposite. That’s the value of the GFA and British control of their leadership.

  • John O’Connell


    I imagine they’re promoting their own traders rather than the British treasury. There’s a subtle difference.

    By the way, in terms of control over our leadership, you need to define what you mean. If you mean the British are controlling the value system of Sinn Fein, then I agree. But not the SDLP’s who have a very different value system.

  • The dubliner.

    Will you ever stop fetish worshipping the Irish state you bloody weirdo. It must gall you every day to think of all those citizens of Ireland from north of the border with Irish passports. Away with ya, ya blue shirt gobshite! Irish shoppers shopping in a different part of Ireland (the island), quelle surprise!