I was out doing a little bit of shopping today, not Christmas shopping I hasten to add, I was trying to get a particular type of tall thin coniferous tree, to be planted and obscure the support leg of the new Balcony on house 6, the idea being to make the Balcony look like it is floating unsupported. The common name for the tree is Skyrocket which pretty much describes what it looks like, quite imaginative these gardeners, I think it a member of the Cypress Family, on checking I see it is called Juniper Skyrocket, proper name Juniperus Scopulorum and is a member of the Cupressaceae family often commonly called the Cypress family.
Well I did not get my plant, I will have to go to a more specialist Garden Centre.
But having noticed the number of cars from the South of Ireland up here it made me think of the reasons why, I heard on the radio last week that what costs about 1,300 euro in Dublin can be bought for 1,000 Euro in the North.
There are several reasons, the pound has weakened against other currencies last year it was worth 2 dollars now it is only worth 1.5 dollars and it has softened about 15% against the Euro, not more than a month ago the Euro was worth abot 78 pence now it is almost 86 pence.
In addition at the last budget in the South VAT was increased to 21.5% whilst on the same effective date, the 1st of December it was reduced to 15% here. An all Ireland Chamber of Commerce site says that this leads to a 43% difference in the VAT rates either site of the Border, this is a significant difference if say buying higher value electrical items, such as Plasma TVs. Almost 100 pounds on a 52 inch Sony TV for example and that not allowing for the currency differential.
I am not sure if this the topic for a blog but interesting all the same, apparently it has lead to squabbles in Newry, the nearest Border Town, now a city, to Dublin, over issues such as parking spaces and Shopping Trolleys. The Spirit of Christmas lives on, I think thats where I came in.