Is your money still safe as houses or are property prices about to crumble?

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By Cormac Lucey Conflicting signals seem to be emerging from the residential property market. Last month The Economist reported that Dublin house prices were 25% overvalued compared with incomes. In August, a survey carried out by the Central Bank and the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland reported that most industry experts now expect residential property prices to rise by … Read More

Ireland has a huge welfare dependency- and the squeezed middle has to pay for it

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By Eamon Delaney This week we saw a damning assessment by the Government itself on our massive welfare dependency in Ireland. According to the Department of Finance paper, we’ve become a welfare nation ‘overly dependent’ on state payments compared to other countries: almost every person in Ireland benefits, directly or indirectly, from some form of social welfare payment which amounts … Read More

Multinationals obscure our strong indigenous performance

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By Cormac Lucey A century ago, the North was the economically advanced part of the island. This helped unionism mobilise against nationalism: opposing a united Ireland didn’t just involve rejection of Rome rule; it was also a renunciation of economic backwardness. In the ensuing hundred years, and particularly over the past 30 years, the relative economic situation has completely reversed. This … Read More

Budget 2018 : ISME calls for implementation of Tax Institute findings

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ISME, the Irish SME Association today (May 31st) submitted its Pre-Budget Submission to Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister of Finance. The document outlines the Associations key priorities for Budget 2019. Ireland’s GDP is expected to grow by 4.1% in 2019, the third highest in Europe, behind Malta and Slovakia. This is tightening the labour market, pressurising wages, and rapidly increasing the … Read More

Italian populism could soon cloud our sunny outlook

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By Cormac Lucey Humans adapt quickly to changed reality and soon take it for granted. Spring replaces winter, and we feel that life should always be like this. We almost forget the experience of winterish conditions, or that in a few months they will return. Similarly, when strong economic recovery replaces a brush with economic depression, we take the positive … Read More

Fine Gael are doing exactly what they accused Charlie McCreevy of doing

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By Cormac Lucey The latest IMF report on the Irish economy passed by with little remark. That reflects an economy back on its own two feet and no longer dependent on external support. Nonetheless, the Washington DC-based organisation argues that the key policy challenge is to harness Ireland’s strong economic momentum to avoid a new boom-bust cycle, and to bolster … Read More

Volatile tax system drives wedge between singles and married

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  By Cormac Lucey Back in the dark and distant days of the 1980s, Ireland’s tax burden on workers was very large and was a significant impediment to employment. High income taxes were a key factor in the soaring levels of unemployment at the time. In the intervening years, thankfully, that situation has improved dramatically. A new report by the … Read More

Threat of a global debt landslide could still bury us all

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By Cormac Lucey Irish house prices rose by more than 12% last year. According to the stockbrokers Davy, this rate of increase isn’t sustainable — as sharp property price increases aren’t being matched by comparable jumps in incomes. In Dublin, prices have regained about two-thirds of the drop they suffered between 2008 and 2013. Rents, meanwhile, have surpassed boom-time levels. … Read More

Senate attendance farce shows our second chamber is beyond reform

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Eamon Delaney Apparently, just 13 out of our 60 Senators showed up in the Seanad last week to hear Health Minister Simon Harris speak about the appalling cervical cancer scandal. This is absolutely shocking and shows a contempt for what couldn’t be a more crucial issue, right now gripping the country. About the same derisory number of Senators attended EU Commissioner … Read More