Shopping north of the Border


Sir, – Is David McWilliams really comparing like with like when he asserts that we “Southerners” would enjoy a 30 per cent increase in our disposable income by choosing to do all our shopping north of the Border (“David McWilliams: What the Pint of Guinness Index tells us”, Analysis, December 30th)?

While it is unarguable that prices in Northern Ireland are generally well below those in the Republic, consumers cannot be magically teleported up North to go on vast shopping sprees. Transport and parking fees have to be paid for, as do meals en route and potential overnight stays – and the extra hours it takes to get there and back are an added expense for the chronically time-poor.

Far better to support local retailers, pay the extra few euro, and enjoy a more leisurely shopping experience. – Yours, etc,


Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Sir, – Are economic pundits in Northern Ireland cheaper too? Why not hire one and pass on the savings to your readers? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 2.