Traders hope to reap VAT boost
by Eamonn MacDermott, Inishowen Independent
INISHOWEN businesses are hoping for a boost this
year with the increase in VAT in the North from
17.5% to 20%.
The VAT increase came into effect last week and,
combined with the exchange rate, it is thought it
could result in a sales boost for businesses
While food sales are exempt from VAT other goods
such as electrical can be affected by changes in the
John Gill of Irwin
Electrical said they were hoping to see an increase
in trade with the new VAT rate in place.
He said: “We would be hopeful that the VAT increase
in the North will benefit the likes of us in two
“Firstly we would hope to get more trade from local
people who in the past might have gone to the North.
Now it makes sense for people to shop locally.
“Secondly we would also hope to see an increase in
trade coming from the North as
John Gill of Irwin Electrical says
Northern VAT hike should boost Inishowen trade.
this increase will make
goods down here more competitive.
“Combine the VAT rise and the exchange rate for
sterling and things could look up for trade here.”
John added: “We have been lucky enough in that trade
has been holding up recently.
“We were really busy in the run-up to Christmas.
Some of this may be accounted for by the weather
forcing people to stay and shop locally but either
way trade was good.
“So we would be hopeful that we can go on holding or
own and maybe get a bit of a boost from all the
changes going on.”
Combined with the rise in VAT, Inishowen businesses
are also well placed to take advantage of a rise in
From last Sunday an extra 0.76p was applied to a
litre of petrol and diesel in the North. A further
1p in duty will be added to a litre of fuel in the
North from April.
This should spell good news for Inishowen garages
and ensure that the cross border trade continues.