Dáil Éireann - Volume 363 - 12 February, 1986

Written Answers. - Price Increase Effects.

54. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism if he is aware that the recent price increases will result in further closure of business in Border counties; and if he will outline the steps he proposes to take to prevent further job losses.

Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism (Mr. J. Bruton): The taxation changes in the recent budget will have a stimulatory effect on business generally. As a result of the budget prices in general will rise by no more than one-half per cent and these price increases will not have any significant effect on business or employment nationally.

The Government have been aware of the difficulties experienced by certain traders in the Border areas because of price competition from Northern Ireland. In order to alleviate these difficulties the Government have taken steps in recent years as follows:

—substantial reduction in the duty on spirits in 1984;

—halving of the duty on televisions in the 1985 budget;

—abolition of the 35 per cent rate of VAT;

—announcement of abolition of the duty on motor vehicle spare parts and accessories, tyres and tubes.

[2402] These changes benefit the traders concerned and help maintain and create jobs. Furthermore the changes taking place in the VAT treatment of areas of the services industry from 1 July 1986 should have considerable benefits for the economy generally. Border counties will share in the benefits of these tax changes particularly in so far as they affect tourism.

As part of their overall policy on employment and job maintenance and creation the Government keep the level and incidence of taxation under review.