Huge loss of tax revenue for the Irish state as electrical goods are being brought across the border illegally.

The electrical industry says business has been decimated in the last three to four months because so many people are buying goods in the north. There are calls for greater border policing and tax equalisation to put an end to cross border smuggling.

It is estimated that the loss to the exchequer on excise duty and VAT on colour televisions was around £6 million in 1983.  According to the electrical industry, around 30,000 television sets were taken illegally across the border while 4,700 jobs have been lost since 1979 and a further 1,500 are at risk in the next five years.

Peter Webster of the Electrical Industry Committee calls for the government to take action towards tax equalisation. 

A state warehouse in Dublin stores confiscated television and other electrical items which were seized at the border. Frank Fraser of the Customs Service says it is a difficult task to monitor cross-border smuggling.

It's impossible to man the border twenty four hours a day. Armies and police forces can't do it, the Customs Service obviously can't do it.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 January 1984. The reporter is Michael Fisher.