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Monday, December 22, 2008

The Euro in your pocket

The current Economic crisis is hitting hard but there are a few intereting developments.

When the Euro was introduced Eurosceptics laughed when it fell to about 68p against the pound and decried it as a weak currency. This laughter must be ringing a bit hollow now that parity is looming.

Curiously the frontline between the pound and the euro is not in the European parliament or the City of London its between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Apparently lots of Irish citizens are crossing the border to buy their shopping in the North. The Asda store in Enniskillen has 60% of its customers from South of the Border and its the 6th busiest store in the Wal-Mart empire. The Asda in Strabane had sales up 54% compared to the same week last year.

Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan recently tried the patriotism card:

When you shop in Northern Ireland, you're paying Her Majesty's taxes, you're not paying taxes to the state that you live in.

But shoppers seem to be ignoring this and are heading North, where VAT rates were cut to 15% recently whereas in the South they were increased to 21.5%.

Northern Irish shops are accepting and giving changes in Euro.

Personally I've always felt the pound will disappear eventually, with the globalisation of the world and the amount of travelling people are doing within Europe who want to keep changing money paying fees on it and accepting a currency risk.

Bet that upsets someone!


Liz said...

They had this story on breakfast news this morning, quite interesting although the guest speaker they had in was of the opinion we won't be changing over (not in the immediate future anyway)

I'm unsure how I feel about it. So no upset coming from 'oop Norf' today ;)

Eagleseagles said...

I wish we were already in with the Euro as do most of the business world!