Test shows shopping in south cheaper

CROSS-BORDER shoppers looking for a bargain this Christmas might have to think again.

An experiment carried out by TV3’s Midweek programme found it was cheaper to shop at home.

According to Patrick Kinsella, producer of the show, comparing a one-day shopping spree in Newry versus one at home, shopping for a typical Christmas basket saw a saving of €18.

“We spent €137.94 up North and €119.01 here. Just €18 was the cost difference and the petrol was €23 which was factored in.”Mr Kinsella said from the experiment, it seemed as though it was no longer cheaper to go North to shop.

“We tried as much as possible to stick to the same brands. We bought things like Budweiser, Cadbury’s Roses, mince pies, soft drinks, a ham, selection boxes and Pampers. If you take into consideration the time it takes to go there, wear and tear on the car, the saving is much more.”

Mr Kinsella said he was surprised by the team’s revelation. He said there was “an amount” of southern registrations in Newry, but not as many as he had thought there might be.

The issue of cross-border shopping has long been an issue of contention due to the loss of revenue for southern businesses.

Shoppers from the Republic spent an estimated €418 million in the North over a 12-month period up to last July.

However, a recent report by the Central Statistics Office found a 4% reduction in cross-border spending by shoppers from the south.

It has been argued the Government should address the issue of our higher VAT rate, which is putting retailers south of the border at a competitive disadvantage.

British VAT, however, did increase earlier this year.


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