VAT changes in NI and Republic come into effect at midnight

The cross border shopping playing field will be levelled to some extent this evening when the VAT rate in Britain and Northern Ireland goes up at midnight, while the VAT in the Republic goes down.

A reduced rate for the past year has been partly blamed for a massive rise in cross-border shopping this year.

The VAT rate will return to 17 and a half percent from January 1st - it had been cut to 15 percent in November 2008 - the rate of VAT in the Republic drops .5% to 20%.