A retail job is lost here for every 150 shoppers who spend in the North, it was claimed today.
Retail Ireland said 1,700 workers could lose their jobs this month alone, with those in the border counties most at risk.
Director Torlach Denihan called for remedial action in the upcoming budget to turn the tide of shoppers travelling north.
“Every 150 cross border shopping trips during November caused the loss of one job here,” said Mr Denihan.
“The impact of cross border shopping over the weekend alone will cause approximately 400 job losses.
“If cross border shopping continues at this rate during December similar numbers of jobs will be lost with particular devastation in border counties Cavan, Donegal, Louth and Monaghan.”
Retail Ireland maintained the number of people at risk of losing their job this month earn €63m.
Mr Denihan estimates the cost to the State in lost income tax lost and social welfare payments will be €34m.
“Retail sales have fallen substantially due to the recession and cross border shopping caused by the 30% collapse in sterling over the last year,” he continued.
“Decisive action is needed in the budget to combat cross border shopping and to encourage consumers to spend some of the 12% of disposable income currently saved.”
Measures called for in the budget include reducing excise levels on alcohol, the VAT rate, commercial rates and employer’s PRSI in the retail sector.