Negative income tax

The idea of a ‘universal income’ or ‘negative income tax’ is a proposal that gives people a certain amount of money instead of giving them welfare. It takes everybody and treats them the same, a negative income tax applies a tax rate to a persons situation and depending on your income you either pay tax or receive a top up.

It’s important to note that the ‘minimum’ is not the same as ‘making equal to’ the point at which you start to pay tax. It’s an interesting idea but one which may have practical challenges if implemented.

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Newstalk: Pat Kenny Show on variable rates

We were asked to speak with Pat Kenny today about variable rates and the government plan to intervene to make banks drop them. This was, after considering various pieces of evidence shown to be a deeply political rather than pragmatic move. We also demonstrated that there are documents which the Minister for Finance had drafted up with the banks specifically stating that he would not intervene on matters of pricing, the recent round of ‘meetings’ is in direct contravention of that.

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Property Conference, Thursday 30th of April 2015

We’ll be one of the speakers at a property conference being held in UCD tomorrow which is expected to have about 700 attendees.

Our talk is titled ‘Mortgages, Property & why we can’t have nice things’. It’s a look at intertwined aspects of the financial and property markets as well as why some of these issues occur and will continue to occur.

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RTE Drivetime: ‘Talking Money’ on mortgage rates, 20th April 2015

On talking money we looked at mortgage rates, where they are, where they are headed and what the best choice might be for people who are trying to decide what is best for their personal situation.

It’s a tricky question, rates can and do go up and down, but we believe the long term trend is for rates to go lower, in fact, that trend has already been occurring and there isn’t anything that seems in a position to stop it from happening. This is good news for borrowers (not so good for deposit savers!).

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RTE Drivetime: ‘Talking Money’ on Quantitative Easing, 30th March 2015

Quantitative Easing or ‘QE’ for short, is a process where Central Banks buy assets from commercial banks and it is known to bring down bond yields and drive up other asset values.

This has begun in Europe and on Talking Money we looked at some of the effects it may have and the issues that such a highbrow economic issue raises for regular people.

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RTE Drivetime: ‘Talking Money’ Buy a car, not a clunker 16th March 2015

Cars are one of the larger non-housing purchases people make. They are expensive to own and maintain and the shortage of car purchases during the downturn has meant that second hand car prices are quite high now.

This week on talking money we looked at some of the practicalities around buying a car, the price of buying new and some of the things to look out for.

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The sums behind ‘taxing’ the banks into a rate cut

Yesterday we were on the Sean O’Rourke show discussing variable rates on RTE Radio. We mentioned how doubling the ‘tax’ on banks won’t actually change anything. The mechanisms were briefly covered and we got a few emails asking for clarification so here it is.

The ‘levy’ was part of the Finance Act 2014 which imposed a new annual levy on financial institutions aiming to raise €150 million per annum for 3 years.

This sum is payable on October the 20th in each year (2014-2016) and it applies to a financial institution that is the holder of an Irish (or equivalent EU) banking licence or is an Irish (or equiv EU) building society that was obliged to pay DIRT – unless the amount required to pay in 2011 was not more than 100k.

The main outcry is centred on variable rates for primary home dwellers in particular. So how much of that debt is out there?

We know there are about 300,000 ‘loans’ but the quantum of debt is €39.638m which is about €3bn …

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RTE Today with Sean O’Rourke on mortgage rates

We were speaking with Sean O’Rourke about mortgage rates, that they were falling as part of a trend and that new moves to force them down would likely not work. It came on the back of a piece by Conor Pope in the Irish Times that quoted us in the article entitled ‘New bank levy could see mortgage rates rise not fall‘.

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