Helping the Homeless: Ireland vs. U.S.

There’s no question that within the last five or so years, the homeless population in Ireland has significantly increased. People in less than ideal conditions can be seen while walking down the streets of Dublin. Although unemployment in Ireland is nothing new, as with any country, there has been a noticeable increase in that population. “Focus Ireland” found that since 2007, the total homeless population has more than tripled. It seems that in the United states however, the opposite is occurring. Since the same year (2007), the homeless population in the U.S. has decreased by roughly 15% (which is almost 100,000 individuals). Whether a countries homeless population is on the rise or decline, there will always be some amount of homeless. So, the question remains: What does each country do to support this continuous population?

In Ireland, there are things such as soup runs and emergency sleeping accommodations for rough sleepers (people physically sleeping on the streets). For the most part, there are places to get some food and possibly a place to stay. These however are very short-term solutions. …

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Brexit’s Largest Impact

Uncertainty is the overwhelming feeling that Brexit has brought onto the entirety of the EU. Here in Ireland, we are no exception. The fear of a large economic downturn is looming, and it seems everyone is fixated on what will happen when October 31st comes around.

The Irish economy as a whole was predicted to grow 4.1% in 2019 and forecasted an increase in the GDP of 3.7% in 2020 according to the European Commission. This however was predicted without considering the effect of a hard exit by the UK. A hard exit could bring an economic fall out consisting of lowered income levels, and higher unemployment rates. Experts from the Economic and Social Research Institute suggest that these conditions can lower the intense growth of property prices since the low in 2013. The Central Statistics Office says this growth has been just over 86% within those 6 years. Housing demand is likely to lower, affecting mortgage companies, brokers, and families trying to sell or relocate.

However, the housing industry will likely not be the hardest hit industry from the …

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Brexits impact on Insolvencies

The date in which the UK is due to leave European Union is quickly approaching. Less than 100 days remain until Brexit is likely to occur. David Van Dessel, a partner at the consulting  group Deloitte, stated that if the UK ends up crashing out of the EU without a deal it could have a “material impact” on company bankruptcy levels throughout Ireland.

According to Deloitte, the impact of a hard Brexit on Irish businesses may not be apparent until the next year. In other words, the material impact will be more likely to be a depicted in 2020 insolvency statistics.

Van Dessel also discussed how directors are veery slow to ask for external assistance when their business is in the midst of financial troubles, especially family businesses. Family companies tend to deal with issues more privately. Generally, when a company is in trouble the common approach is to sell more, but the problem is normally much greater than lagging sales.

For companies directly effected by Brexit, the financial impact may be quick after implementation, but there will be a …

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New rent laws

Holiday homeowners must now have planning permission to rent out their property to tourists or stays ip to two weeks. This new rule are in effect as the start of July, 2019. The new rental law only applies to properties in a rent-pressure zone (RPZ). An RPZ is a zone where rent is typically above the national average.

This summer could mark the last summer that holiday home owners in the RPZs will be able to rent out their properties to tourists. Property owners will be breaking the rules if they continue to rent their homes out to tourists unless they are granted the planning permission to do so. Failing to get planning permission for renting to tourist can result in fines up to  €5,000 or six months of imprisonment – or both.

Homes that are not effected by the rental restrictions can be defined as homes which were purposely designed, constructed and approved to be dedicated to tourism accommodation.

According to Jacinta Doolan, the founder of Trident Holiday Homes, about 80% of holiday homes throughout Ireland do not have planning …

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Property Taxes

According to the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI), property taxes should be raised drastically to diversify tax revenue sources and to address issues of rising wealth inequality. As the government prepares its 2020 budget for 2020, increasing property tax is considered.

The trade union affiliated think-tank proposed ideas that represent a major shift in the tax system and the Government has always manages to neglect changing property taxes because of the associated political unpopularity.

Currently, the Government collects much less property tax revenue than most other European Union countries. Revenue from property taxes equates to only 23.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), while the average tax revenue in the EU amounts to 38.9% of GDP. In comparison with the rest of the EU, Ireland is much more dependent on VAT and excise tax revenues. VAT and excise tax generally have a greater negative impact on the less well off than the impact on wealthy.

Property taxes are the most difficult for the extraordinarily wealthy to avoid according to NERI’s senior economist Tom McDonnell. He continued to denote that underlying assets …

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Homecare services soar

The Health Services Executive of Ireland, or HSE, is a government funded organization created in 2004 under the Health Act. It’s aim is to support the people of Ireland with the social and health related resources necessary to achieve their potential. Additionally, it gives Irish citizens the access to safe, compassionate, and quality health care at home or at a medical center. 

Within the recent years, there has been an influx in the population of adults that are in need of in-home services. The HSE has been outsourcing most of their at-home care business to businesses that are outside of the government, despite the high costs that come with this type of service. According to recent reports, the prices for this type of service can be twice the cost of Health Services Executives. 

Mary Butler, who is a spokesperson for older people, has looked into data and found that the HSE has outsourced basically all of their home care in the nation’s capital. Additionally, smaller cities such as Dún Laoghaire, Dublin south-east, Wicklow, Co Kerry, Co Cork, Co Donegal, Co …

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Pensions

Pensions in Ireland is paid to people from the age of 66 who have enough social insurance contributions. People who qualify for a state pension are also allowed to have other incomes and still receive the State pension. The State pension is taxable, but if the pension is the only source of income it is not likely to be taxed.

In order to qualify for the State pension an individual must have started paying social insurance before the age of 56 and have paid at least 520 full rate social insurance contributions. An individual must also have at least 48 paid or credited full rate contributions from the year they started insurable employment until reaching 66 years of age.

Recent research has shown that only 32% of people would like to continuing to work after the age of 66. This is concerning due to the increasing financial pressure leading to delay in retirement. Another recent statistic gathered from 1,000 employers revealed that only 61% of employees believe that they will have no choice but to work past the age of …

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Brexit-proofing your business

What is the best way to protect your business and employees from the unpredictability of the economy and general business sector in a post-Brexit state? Skillnet Ireland seems to have an answer to that problem– increased training. This national agency’s main goal is to facilitate education in the workforce so that Irish workers can be highly skilled in all of the new and dynamic tools in order to be able to compete as a nation against other highly skilled nations.

During last year alone, the company has trained over 56,000 Irish workers in the small-to-medium business sector so that these smaller companies will have the edge up on larger corporations. Skillnet can provide assistance and training through classes with the help of 50 other diverse industry partners. 

The largest category that has participated in the upkeep and acceleration of their workers skills through these classes is micro-firms. Out of the 16,462 firms that participated in educational courses, 56pc of them were smaller than 10 people. Agriculture and general services were the largest overall sectors that felt the need to update …

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Mortgage Rates – comparison to Europe

High mortgage rates and strict mortgage regulations are greatly effecting borrowers. According to the Independent, Ireland’s high mortgage rates are costing borrowers up to  €60,000.

Although Irish mortgage rates have dropped in May according to data from the Central Bank, the rate remains the second highest in all of the eurozone. The only country that has higher mortgage rates than Ireland is Greece.

The average rate on all new mortgages averaged to 3.01% in May. The rate decreased by two basis points since April. However, the average rate in the european area amounts to only 1.68%. However, in comparison to the United States, the average rate is around 3.5%. The lowest mortgage rate in the eurozone is Finland. The rate defined in Finland is less than 1%.

According to the Banking and Payments Federation, the average first time buyer mortgage is now defined as €225,000. This means that the typical first time home buyer who is borrowing €225,000 over 30 years will pay about €143 more per month for their mortgage. If the average first time was able to borrow under the eurozone average rate, …

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Ireland vs US: University Prices

Education is valued very differently in the United States and the European Union, but especially Ireland. In an earlier article, it was noted that Ireland in 2018 spent €10.8 billion, or 14.16pc of their entire government expenditure on education. The United States allocated a whopping 6pc of the entire government budget to education, or $68.5 billion, which was down 14pc from the previous year. 

This huge difference in the government’s focus on education gives students in Ireland, and all across the EU, the chance to gain upper level education for an affordable price. In general, students who are striving to get a degree in a higher education institution are very likely within their four year to take out at least one student loan in order to pay tuition for part of, if not all of their educational experience. 

In Ireland, the tuition fees that are associated with which program you choose to pursue as well as if you are from in or outside of the European Union. These differentiations also occur in the United States, but in a different degree. …

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