EU plans to harmonise corporation tax will bring little in the way of harmony

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By Colm McCarthy Ireland’s agenda with the European Union is getting complicated. After five years of strong recovery, the country’s economic prospects are exposed to developments in EU policy under three headings. There will be profound effects from Brexit about efforts to harmonise corporation tax and about future governance of the eurozone. And the next slowdown, whenever it comes, will … Read More

Responsible majority shouldn’t have to pay for irresponsible minority

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  By Brendan Burgess The majority of mortgage holders act responsibly and pay their mortgages. A few are still in arrears, but they are doing their best to pay their mortgage. These responsible borrowers are paying the highest mortgage rates in the eurozone, because they are paying not just their own mortgage, but they are also paying the mortgages of … Read More

Europe’s default leader has little to show for it

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By Cormac Lucey Henry Kissinger, the US secretary of state and national security in the 1970s, once exclaimed in frustration: “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” At the time there was no clear European leader to speak to. If the US wanted to arrange something it would have to separately fix it with the British, the … Read More

And now, a message to our sponsors — please take the politics out of our policies

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By Cormac Lucey The row about the role of the government strategic communications unit (SCU) in promoting the national development plan rumbles on. Public money was used to insert advertisements in various newspapers that looked like regular editorial copy. The opinions of several public commentators were sought and used without them knowing where they would appear and, mysteriously, some local … Read More

Ireland leads World Electoral Freedom Index, according to international study

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The index measures over 50 indicators for 198 countries around the world. Countries are classified and ranked according to their electoral freedom. Ireland ranks first, Australia 5th and the UK 9th in the 2018 edition. Canada is 26th, New Zealand 39th and the USA 44th. READ OR DOWNLOAD THE FULL PDF DOCUMENT OF WEFI 2018 AT February 2nd. Led … Read More

At least EU Commission’s bite of the Apple has lifted the veil of Irish tax secrecy

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By Cormac Lucey The Irish constitution, Bunreacht na hEireann, contains some important yet mostly overlooked provisions on financial matters. There are only two members of the cabinet who must, according to the constitution, be members of Dail Eireann: the taoiseach and the finance minister. And only the Dail can initiate legislation that provides for the raising of taxes or the … Read More

Ditch the shiny packaging — we just want a national wish list that is functional

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By Cormac Lucey There is an excited ritual for any family whose children are writing to Santa Claus with their requests for Christmas presents. Imagine how much more excitement there would be if your children were sending requests to the North Pole that covered presents for the next 10 years? It’s a similar ritual for politicians who get to prepare … Read More

The political environment changes but regulatory underperformance persists

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By Cormac Lucey An International Monetary Fund research paper written by Jihad Dagher last month examines the political economy of financial policy during 10 of the most infamous financial booms and busts since the 18th century. The paper presents consistent evidence of pro-cyclical regulatory policies by governments: in other words, official policy tightens when it should loosen and loosens when … Read More

The EU has picked a strange time to pick on Ireland over corporate tax

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By Eamon Delaney With all that is happening at the moment internationally, but especially in Europe, you really have to wonder : why would the EU pick now, of all times, to come after Ireland on corporate tax? At the World Economic Forum at Davos, but also in the European Parliament and elsewhere, Eurocrats and their economic cheerleaders lined up … Read More

Our Emergency Health delays are a disgrace and should be tackled for once and for all

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By Eamon Delaney I found myself back in a hospital A&E again after Christmas, this time for a dislocated shoulder. Thankfully, it was sorted out, apart from some ongoing pain and future physio. But my casualty department experience, mercifully just before the recent deluge, was a personal reminder, as all these visits are, of everything that is good and bad … Read More