The booming black market in Ireland is putting pressure on profit margins for retailers.
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) are calling on the Government to refocus on the effect the underground economy is having on the retail sector.
New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that while businesses in Ireland are enjoying record sales, the black market economy is also thriving.
Mark Fielding is CEO of ISME and has said the underground market has knock on effects.
“In addition to reduced margins, the Black Economy is booming at the moment and the effects of smuggled cigarettes and other goods on small local stores is devastating,” said Fielding.
“Ultimately, these shops will close leading to, not alone a loss of jobs but a loss of opportunity for local areas, devoid of convenience retail outlets. The massive unfair advantage created by non-payment of excise and taxes within the black economy is creating havoc for compliant retailers.
“The Revenue Commissioners must put much more emphasis on the eradication of rogue traders who have a massive competitive advantage, which is causing job intensive SME retailers to suffer and in some cases, close.”