Average costs of living in Ireland increasing?

While Irish inflation has been low in recent years—consumer prices increased by only 0.3 percent yearly from 2013 onwards—rapid price rises in particular industries have meant that many customers’ wallets have been pinched more than the official statistic implies. Private rentals have risen by 7% per year during the same time, while health insurance has risen by around 4.5 percent per year. Spending on things like these is consuming an ever-increasing percentage of many people’ incomes. A recurrent finding in the KBC Bank consumer’s take poll is that people feel that their own individual economic condition has not progressed as much as the key Irish macroeconomic factors imply.

Consumer prices in Ireland decreased by 1.1 percent in August compared to the same period last year, and by 0.5 percent on average since March, according to official inflation statistics. This drop, however, does not appear to be reflected in current consumer sentiment. We asked customers to estimate how much their own total cost of housing has risen in the past 12 months as part of the general consumer mood poll for August. Although …

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7 Tips for Entrepreneurs in Ireland

Being an entrepreneur can be both exciting and challenging. Here are 7 tips to help you navigate the ups and downs of building a successful business.

1. Learn to Embrace Risk

Starting your own business is a risk in itself, but don’t be afraid to take on more risk along the way. If you are too cautious and risk-averse, you may end up missing out on great opportunities for growth. Jeff Bezos has said that learning to take risks has helped him to realize that he wouldn’t regret failure, but he would regret not trying.

2. Have self Confidence

A crucial element of being a successful entrepreneur is leadership. And the most important trait required to be an effective leader is self-confidence. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors, famously said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

3. Learn From Your Mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life, and nobody’s perfect, especially in business. However, many entrepreneurs tend to either ignore their mistakes, or dwell on them for too long. A more productive approach is to …

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Has Covid-19 Permanently Changed the Work Landscape?

The government says so. In a time where so many people in Ireland and across the globe have switched to remote working due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees alike have been forced to adapt. With more than a year of remote working under their belts, people have been able to observe the many benefits and drawbacks that come with remote working.

 

Now, the Government’s National Remote Work Strategy aims to encourage remote working after the pandemic. The government says its main objective is to “ensure remote work is a permanent feature in the Irish workplace” in the future.  In this strategy, the government breaks down what it believes to be the benefits and challenges that come with working remotely during a pandemic. There are several benefits, including improving work/life balance, more time spent with children and family, and reducing the amount of time spent commuting. However, there are several challenges, particularly when it comes to mental health of employees. In a virtual workspace,  employees  often experience feelings of isolation, loneliness, and stress. Another benefit is the …

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Is it Getting easier to be approved for a mortgage in Ireland?

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had many effects on business throughout the world and in Ireland. Every industry has been affected by this pandemic, and many in negative ways. However, this is not exactly the case with the mortgage industry in Ireland.

 

The mortgage industry in Ireland has remained remarkably buoyant over the past year. This is especially significant due to the fact that the country has been under level 5 lockdowns since March of 2020. While one would expect mortgage drawdowns and approvals to decrease like most economic activity, what happened instead was surprising. For the first quarter of 2021, BPFI reports that there were 9,091 new mortgages worth €2.1 billion drawn down by borrowers. These numbers represent a 4.5% increase in volume and a 7.3% increase in value when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2020. This was also the most drawdowns approved in Q1 of any year since 2009. 

bpf

March 2021 was also a strong month for mortgage approvals, especially when considering First Time Buyers (FTBs). In March of 2021, a …

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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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Ireland’s exit from lockdown

The National Public Health Emergency Team is expected to come forward later this week with their recommendations to the government of Ireland on developing a reopening strategy. Though a speedy return to normalcy seems unlikely, this might be an important first step in getting the country back on track.

The pandemic and lockdowns combined have had devastating effects on the Irish economy, resulting in substantial job losses and a spike in unemployment. Pauses to required monthly repayments on loans and mortgages were instated by banks to help borrowers. The country was sent into a recession, which was officially announced in September. Recovery would be long and arduous no matter what, but the inefficiencies of the government’s policies aimed at preventing the spread are likely exacerbating the issue.

For one, Ireland’s lockdowns have been described as some of the strictest in the world, perhaps even a bit excessive. Until 12 April, a Level-5 lockdown had been in effect for more than a hundred days. This entailed restricting citizens’ movements to just five kilometers from their homes, in-person schooling, and more. For …

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The long term impact of the pandemic

The pandemic and the associated lockdowns have obviously had immediate repercussions on Ireland’s economy and daily life for its citizens. Staggering job loss, business closures, and lagging debt payments are just a few of hardships being faced. However, there is another, perhaps less immediately apparent economic consequence of the pandemic: that is, what the disruptions to students’ educations will mean for Ireland and the world in the near future.

Schools in Ireland have been closed multiple times and the country has been repeatedly forced into lockdowns to fight the spread of the virus. On March 12th of last year, schools were forced to shut down until the 29th, which was later extended to the start of the next academic year in September. During that stretch of time, students were not allowed to attend in-person classes. Even when schools did eventually reopen, periodic outbreaks in certain schools and the additional restrictions put on students ensured that the school year would not go smoothly. The total losses in education are difficult to gauge; some countries have reported that time spent on school-related …

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How the Biden administration’s new proposition might affect Ireland

A key part of Ireland’s appeal to international investment has been its pro business infrastructure and low corporate tax rate of 12.5%, and for decades major U.S. corporations have made use of that infrastructure and tax rate. Some prominent examples include Google, Facebook, and Apple, which famously made use of the notorious “double Irish” tax loophole in the 1990s. International firms have become an integral part of the Irish economy of today, to say the least.

However, U.S. President Joe Biden has introduced a new tax proposition that might change that dynamic. It has suggested that U.S. corporations be subject to a global minimum corporate tax rate, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recommending a rate of 21%. This would work in the following way: if a U.S. firm has operations in Ireland and pays the lower Irish tax rate for those operations, the U.S. government would be able to apply additional taxes on that revenue until it reaches a rate of 21%. The rationale behind this proposal is to make ensure a more fair and level playing field, while …

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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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ETF payment to Irish Life

If you want to make an ETF payment to Irish Lifey you’ll need their bank details, but before you do that it’s worth considering what you are about to do and why.

We assume the ‘why’ part is that you are buying a financial product or funding one, that could mean either buying some type of assurance policy or topping up a pension, but have you considered the alternatives? If you went through a broker then perhaps you have, but if you didn’t then you might want to consider some independent advice because not all policies, charges or choices are universal, they differe across different providers.

We can help you determine what pension plan may suit you the most, or what fudn is most appropriate to your needs. Not only that, we can often get peole a higher allocation (and reduced fees) which means you get more bang for your buck (euro) than you would otherwise because a broke can manipulate the charges more favourably towards a client than the insurance companies do directly. So consider giving us a call, …

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