Childcare challenges

Having a child can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it is not without its challenges. For most people, it is a pivotal step towards full adulthood and requires a great deal of contemplation in regards to finances and time availability. 

The most recent census statistics have proven that having children is a common occurrence for young Irish adults, making Ireland’s under under-five population one of the highest in the 38 European Union countries that were examined; 398,000 children, or 7pc of the Irish population, is made up of young children.

A Eurydice report , published in 2019, focused heavily on examining early childhood education and care in European nations noted that Ireland is one of four countries to have extremely high child care rates, especially for those under the age of three. The other three countries with high costs are the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. 

This sheer number of children within Ireland comes as a somewhat shock to economists, who note that the costliness of childcare exceeds almost every other European country. There are a multitude of …

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Public and private sector pay gap shrinks

The pay gap between workers in the public and private sector has always been significant, especially in Ireland. This divide is not common in many other countries in the European Union, which is why Irish government officials and economists have been extremely diligent in tracking the changes over time. Although there is usually a difference, Ireland has in the past decade faced a 46pc inequality; this was at the peak. 

In general, the Irish public sector has proven to be paying more and growing quicker than the private sector. This is interesting, given that the public sector is owned and operated by or within the federal, county or local governments.

 The private sector is companies that have no governmental ties, and allow the privately owned establishments to set their own wages; some examples of this are corporations, both in not for profit and profit, and partnerships. 

The Central Statistics Office reported in 2018 that state workers on average earned around €947 a week, which at the end of the year would total just around €49,390. People doing similar jobs in …

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May 2019 mortgage approvals offer high hopes

The mortgage scene is finally beginning to see some positive growth, especially for first time buyers. Recent figures have just been released for May 2019, which have shown substantial upward traction in regards to the approval of loans. 

The statistics indicated that there has been a 10pc increase in approvals when comparing May 2018 to May 2019. During May 2019, 4926 applications for loans were approved by at least one of the banks. Additionally, there was a 19.9pc increase from April to May of this year. 

Most of the approvals from May seem to have been heavily dominated by first time buyers, who made up 51pc. This demographic  is heavily marked to via social media and other online platforms. Additionally, banks advertise to this untapped market by offering exemptions that make getting a loan more affordable. 

This seems to have been effective, give that approvals are high for this month. If approvals are high, this indicated that there were also a very large number of first time buyer applications that the bank saw during the previous months. Mover purchases also …

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Ireland vs US: Where your taxes go

In the article Ireland vs US: Taxation , some of the differences between government mandated income tax in Ireland and the United States were highlighted. With multiple differences in how taxation occurs in each country, there are bound to be variations in how these funds are utilized. 

Additionally, because the United States and Ireland are nations that differ significantly in size and population, the total budget and how much of that comes from tax dollars will contrast significantly. In 2017, Ireland’s total expenditure was €69.1 billion; the United States spent $4 trillion. These differences in total expenditure make sense in some ways, given that Ireland is home to 4.804 million people, while the United States houses 327.2 million. 

Ireland’s three largest areas of spending within that year are Social Protection, Health, and Debt Servicing/ EU payments. €20.12 billion, 29.11pc of the total spending, funded Social Protection. Social protection encompasses the funding of many social welfare benefits that you must be eligible for to receive. There are many categories that fall under the social welfare umbrella including disability and illness, …

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Ireland vs US: Taxation

The fourth of July is one of the most widely celebrated national holidays in the United States. In 1776 the Continental Congress declared that the 13 british colonies were to be free from the confines of British rule and would become a new, independent nation. Within the Declaration of Independence, there were 27 grievances against the current and former actions of King George III; Thomas Jefferson, an advocate for independence, wrote almost all of these. 

Grievance 17 focused mainly on taxation without representation, which to this day is still a widely supported part of the Declaration and Constitution. Although this outcome is supported by both US political parties, the amount of income that is taxed and what the taxed money is used for is highly contested.  

In the United States, taxation occurs at the local, state and federal levels. For income, the United States imposes a bracket system on the amount of income you earn. In 2018, the tax rate started at 10pc of total income until you were to earn above $19,050. Between the incomes of $19,050 and $77,399 …

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HAP fails to assist

The housing market continues to prove that it is hard to penetrate by people who are eligible for social housing. In order to qualify, you must meet a multitude of standards. The most important of these being that you need housing and cannot provide using your own resources, you have a legal right to remain in the State, you are 18 years of age or older, and lastly your net income must be lower than a calculated threshold based off the structure of your family. 

If you are in the spectrum that allows you to receive social housing, then you are likely to be able to utilize social housing support that is run by the local authorities; this tool is known as HAP and it can be utilized in a multitude of ways. 

HAP went into effect on 1 March 2017 and has been available under local authorities. This program was implemented to allow HAP tenants full-time and still keep their housing support. It also gave rise to a more structured approach at organization by making all social housing supports …

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US Silicon Valley Bank funds Irish Silicon Valley

Despite the uncertainty that surrounds the Irish economy, the business sector of Ireland has been expanding far beyond previous years capacity, with little promise of slowing down. A large part of this is due to the increased investment by both national and internationally based companies in their Irish based assets. 

Additionally, many companies have become increasingly interested in the business and technological advancements that are happening within the up and coming “silicon valley” of Ireland, located within the capital city of Dublin. The United States Silicon Valley Bank, a subsidiary of SVB Financial Group and one of the largest US high-tech commercial banks, has especially taken notice to these upcoming influential companies. 

As a bank that focuses on lending to technology and biotechnology companies, it has made its mission to provide funding to all sizes of business in multiple different forms whether that be venture capital, revenue based financing, private equity, etc. The bank has stayed true to their mission since its debut, providing more than 30,000 start up companies with the funding they need to succeed. 

The Silicon Valley …

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June Unemployment Statistics

Ireland seems to have hit as close to full employment as possible as rates stay constant from May to June of 2019. Full employment is a condition of the economy in which every person who is currently able to work and is seeking employment is employed.   

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) recently released their monthly unemployment report which included details in regards to the changes that have occurred month to month in 2019, as well as a comparison between June 2018 and 2019 statistics. According to these comparisons, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from May to June 2019 has stayed at a constant 4.5pc unemployed. On a yearly basis, there has been a significant decrease of 1.4pc; June 2018 was at 5.9pc while June 2019 is at 4.5pc. 

This percentage change shows a significant change in the amount of seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed from 140,200 people in 2018 to 109,700 in 2019, which is a 30,500 person decrease. There are many reasons for a decrease in unemployment including immigration and emigration or businesses and people, the creation of …

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Dublin’s investment in mutual funds

Risk and reward, these two words are correlated heavily with the trading of stocks and bonds. Individual stocks and bonds tend to have higher personal risk, but also higher possibility for rewards. Mutual funds are another type of lower risk investment where you and other people have the opportunity to invest money or capital in a collective fund. This group of people’s money is then invested by a fund manager in a diversified array of stocks, bonds, futures, currencies, treasuries and money market securities that they believe will do well. 

By investing with other people, you are reducing the amount of risk that will be on your own assets. Although this is positive, the payouts tend to be smaller because they are distributed across all of the investors. 

There are many benefits to investing in this product. For one, this type of fund offers built-in diversification of investment portfolio; you are not putting all of your eggs in one basket, which can offset possible downfalls in one category with growth in another. Another being that these funds are chosen by …

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Businesses prepare for Brexit

Brexit poses a threat to many multinational companies that are headquartered in the United Kingdom. As of now, these companies are taking into consideration many economic and political factors that will help them make the decision to stay in the UK or relocate to a different country inside of the European Union. 

Ecclesiastical, a 130 year old niche insurance company, is one of the many who have begun looking into operation in other companies, although they are not interested in moving their headquarters out of the UK. In order to preemptively bridge the operational divide between the EU and the UK, Ecclesiastical has been working to receive clearance to operate as a third-country branch in Ireland; they have recently been approved by the Irish government. 

There are many requirements that must be fulfilled in order for this to be approved. Some of the most important of those being that the company must set up a full time presence in the country while complying with a minimum capital requirement being held within the Irish State by the Irish High Court as …

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