Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Newry and Mourne District Council

  Thank you for giving Newry and Mourne District Council the opportunity to submit evidence on the above issue to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

  Newry and Mourne District Council at a recent Council meeting discussed this issue in detail. Given Newry and Mourne is a border location that has strong economic links with neighbours in the Republic of Ireland, the Council believe that if a tax on aggregates was imposed it would severely disadvantage local businesses involved in the building trade and related suppliers.

  Given that in the Republic of Ireland there is no such tax local companies would be at a severe disadvantage when tendering for contracts across the border.

  Many businesses in Newry and Mourne rely on the Republic of Ireland as a market. Over recent years due to exchange rate variations local companies have had to totally transform the manner in which they do business in order to overcome that unfair disadvantage resulting from the exchange rate variation in order to retain business. Despite improving efficiency in many, if not all, instances profit margins have been drastically reduced.

  If a further tax was imposed on the building industry, this Council believes strongly that it would have a serious effect on the viability of many businesses and thus threaten numerous jobs.

26 October 2001

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