With duty free sales across Europe due to end, what will the impact be on employment?

The abolition of duty free means that thousands of jobs could be lost at Irish airports and ferry ports and passengers may face increased travel fares.

The sales of alcohol, cigarettes, and cosmetics in this shop is big business.

As a regional airport with no access to the North American market, the decision to close duty free with European member states is a crippling blow to Cork Airport. Elaine Mannion who has been working in the Duty Free division of Cork Airport for three years, explains how the decision will affect the airport.

We won't be able to sell duty free to EU countries so therefore we have a major loss of revenue straight away from July 1st.

While staff at Cork Airport Duty Free have been told that there won't be any redundancies, Elaine is sceptical about the future. 

The situation for ferry workers is equally pessimistic. Swansea Cork Ferries bring two hundred thousand travellers to and from the UK each year. However, without duty free sales, redeployment will be necessary. It is predicted that ferry passengers can expect an increase in price of as much as fifteen per cent. 

Stenaline has already confirmed that there will be hundreds of layoffs across their European operations. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 June 1999. The reporter is Ciaran Mullooly.