Lenihan renews plea to consumers to shop at home


Shoppers should spend more money in the run up to Christmas to help fund the health and education systems, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said today.

Mr Lenihan has previously urged shoppers to do their “patriotic duty” and resist the urge to avail of bargains in the North

The Minister said today the situation whereby consumers are pouring into Northern Ireland to take advantage of currency differences and the recent lowering of VAT rates in the UK was having a detrimental effect on the Irish economy.

“When you shop in the State, you do help the taxpayer,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Irelandprogramme today.

“If you shop at home this Christmas, and shop a little bit more this Christmas and if you recognise that money is going to help educate your children and care for people in hospitals and pay for our medical expenses, which the State has to pay for, I think you’ll realise that it is important to shop at home.”

He accepted the currency differential between the euro and sterling was a “big factor”, but said that as Ireland is locked into the euro system, the Government was powerless to act.

Mr Lenihan called on consumers to “pull together” at this difficult time for the Irish economy.

“We have to face up to the fact that we are in difficult times and if we make those sacrifices now, it will be better for all of us and our children in the future.”