All island rail proposal for Ireland

On April 7, 2021, Ireland’s Transport Minister Eamon Ryan came forward with Northern Ireland’s Minister of Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, to announce an upcoming review of a proposed “all-island rail network.” This review will entail looking into various ways can improve connectivity between major cities and support regional development; additionally, the feasibility of the use of high-speed rail will be considered. The aim of these improvements is to boost sustainability and bolster economic growth across the entire island. Rail freight is also hoped to see better results.

Successful implementation of this proposal could have other benefits as well, such as reducing emissions from automobiles and mitigating regional economic imbalances on the island. Further, the project could lead to the creation of new jobs, both during and after its duration.

The next step for ministers is to find experts to conduct the review.

Though this proposal came jointly from Ministers of both the Republic and Northern Ireland, of particular focus is the northwestern region of the island. It is thought that this area has generally fallen behind in railway connections compared to …

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How Brexit might impact Ireland going forward

As of 31 December, 2020, the transition period of the UK’s exit from the EU has ended, and Europe is now left to deal with its economic fallout. General consensus seems to be that the move will ultimately prove harmful to the UK and the EU, including Ireland. In fact, Ireland will likely be more affected, as it is more exposed to its effects than others due to the intensity of trade between the two. Costs associated with that trade will undoubtedly increase, as the UK is Ireland’s second-largest training partner, accounting for 14% of Irish exports and 26% of imports, second only to the U.S. Brexit will necessitate additional steps in conducting said trade. Trade between the two is already said to have fallen substantially. To get around this, some businesses have been going through Northern Ireland.

Trade with the rest of Europe will also be made more complicated post-Brexit. Shipments from Ireland to the mainland have often gone through the UK historically. Now, Irish businesses have had to find and arrange for new routes. At present, these new …

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The legacy of the “Double Irish” loophole

The “Double Irish” was one of the most notorious tax loopholes, used by large firms for decades since the 1990s. It was base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) method used by many notable entities, including but not limited to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and more. Though closed in 2014, the loophole remained open to firms already using it until 2020. Even since its closure, there are concerns that firms that had used it previously will just shift to using different methods. Overall, this and similar methods used have had a substantial impact on Ireland’s financial system and records, something that is still being addressed today.

The Double Irish was conducted via the following steps. First, a U.S. corporate entity would develop a product or software for a price, and then sell it to a wholly owned subsidiary in Bermuda. Next, the company in Bermuda would revalue it as an intangible asset of a far greater price, as Bermuda is tax free. The Bermuda subsidiary would then license it to another subsidiary in Ireland for the same price. Important to note is …

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Ireland and Massachusetts (USA): Compare and Contrast of Jobseeker’s Allowance

Unemployment is a stressful time of one’s life. The fear of not knowing where your next paycheck is going to come from, and if you are going to have enough to put food on your table, is very real for many people. I will examine the different government allowances in Ireland and the United States to see how these countries compare and contrast when helping out their unemployed when they are finding their next jobs.

In Ireland, Jobseeker’s Allowance is a type of payment that Ireland government pays the unemployed. The allowance payment is a means-tested payment, meaning an unemployed individual would have to fall lower than the average of specific income qualifications. This allowance payment is paid out by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). To qualify, one must:

Be Between 18 and 66 Be Unemployed Actively be seeking work (with proof) Satisfy the means-test Be a proven habitual resident (living in Ireland with some permanence)

In order to satisfy the means-test, the DEASP observes your personal cash income, savings and other assets. However, the DEASP …

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Housing Update and the Coronavirus

At the beginning of the year, Glenveagh Property, an Irish home building company, had shares increase by over 2%. The shares rose due to an increase in house sales and company revenue in 2019. The company achieved these increases because they had significant sales of homes for first-time buyers, where there still remains a high demand. Glenveagh Property reports the company generated revenues of €284 million, which presents an 240% increase from 2019 to 2020. In addition, the company had a 200% increase in homes built from 2019 to 2020, stating the company built 844 new homes. Finally, the company reports that they have reduced its risk in its 2020 construction targets. 

While Glenveagh Property’s positive report for the year of 2019 and hopeful outlook for 2020 are optimistic signs, the housing market may continue to grow with an improvement of the Coronavirus. On Tuesday, 11 February 2020, Zhong Nanshan, the head of China’s National Health Commission team investigating the Coronavirus, stated in an interview that the infectious virus may be over in April of 2020. Nanshan said the disease …

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What Brexit Means for the Housing Market.

How will Brexit affect the Ireland housing market? A question wondered by many citizens in Ireland, especially those currently active in the housing market.

Though not all bad, the housing market could be negatively impacted by the loss of international buyers.

As the nation watched as the British pound lost value by 10% with the referendum result being announced, and has dropped even more since then, housing in Ireland just got significantly more expensive for British buyers.

With current housing prices already being considered too high, for all buyers, international or not, the prospects of buying just got much more difficult for anyone newly searching.

The Irish Times reported recently that 60% of buyers of top-end homes are international, while 40% being more specifically from the UK.

By top-end homes, the Times is reporting numbers of €1 million and over homes. Meaning, the rest of the market, while without statistics from the Irish Times is also highly diluted by foreign investors.

Citizens looking to permanently move should not have much of an impact in their quest to buy as it …

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U.S Housing Giants Continue Losses

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are known to be “too big to fail”….at least that’s what the U.S had said up until the 2008 financial crisis.

In 1968 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had become a government-sponsored enterprise, a term insinuating that the government would always be there to bail them out if needed.

In 2008, the government was there to do just that.

With extreme lending of subprime mortgages, the economy quickly began to fail. Individuals were able to get mortgages they were unable to repay, something that would have been easily foreseeable, had the lenders set stricter requirements.

In this time, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had borrowed over $187 billion. And now, finally, they have repaid to the full amount and more…leaving the Trump administration to decide what to do next.

With reporting of a fourth-quarter net loss, it is obvious they have yet to recover to pre-crisis standards, and neither is it surprising that they are looking for taxpayer help with the new tax bill that has been passed by the trump administration.

This crisis begs …

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How does the German mortgage market work?

The German mortgage market is facing a complex period with increasing competition and a smaller population that is eligible for a mortgage because the country is rapidly aging. Of the more than 82 million inhabitants, 50 million in the age group are 20-64 years old. But in 13 years, in 2030, there will be only 34 million Germans who are young enough to receive a mortgage.

Although Germany is the largest mortgage market in Europe after the United Kingdom, the German housing market is different from the rest of the EU market. According to Ilse Helbrecht and Tim Geilenkeuser from the Humboldt University in Berlin, the Germans feel much less committed to their own house than the British, Italians or Spaniards.

Only slightly more than half of the families own the house in which they live. The main reasons for this are a large range of affordable and high-quality rented apartments and a tax system which is not preferred by tenants. Some provinces have set up incentive schemes for first-time buyers, but they are small businesses. Mortgages are offered by …

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An increase of housing demand for millennials in the US

Real estate is on millennials to do list despite the stalled wage growth and housing market fears in the United States.

The National Association of Realtors show that the amount of first-time home buyers increased 3 percent year-over-year. They made up of 33 percent of the home mortgage market in May.

First-time home buyers can be categorized as someone who has not owned a home in the past three years.

Fannie Mae statistics shows that first-time home buyers make up of 42 percent of all home mortgages from January to April which is up 2 percent from 2016.

As interest amongst the millennials is rising in home buying, whether or not that will be a good idea is at question. The Federal Reserve just raised their interest rates which will affect the millennials in search for a …

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Bank of England raises counter-cyclical capital buffer to 0.5%

Bank of England announced to lenders that it is raising the country’s counter-cyclical capital buffer from 0 to 0.5% to mitigate pressures from increasing consumer credit. The counter-cyclical capital buffer is a requirement on all banks, lenders and investment firms to keep a certain level of capital when credit growth is excessive. To a certain extent, this buffer is able to insulate banks from the cyclical growth and downturns of the economy. Bank of England’s decision reflects its interests in slowing down credit and lending in the British economy.

 

By raising the counter-cyclical capital buffer to 0.5%, British banks must increase their held capital by over £11.4 billion over the next 18 months. The Bank of England also has the intentions of further increasing the buffer by 0.5% to 1% by the end of 2017 to combat increases in consumer credit and lending. The counter-cyclical buffer has only been used once in the UK, but was quickly revoked due to stagnate economy conditions during the immediate aftermath of Brexit.

 

Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee warned that there …

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