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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50 Reasons Ireland Should Consider Tall Buildings

Here are 50 reasons why Ireland should consider tall buildings for residential and commercial purposes:

1. Saves Space – In a world with a growing population, developing buildings vertically allows for more space and more people. The land available for buildings is finite, and while tall buildings have a height limit, cities and towns can better utilize this space by building more tall, vertical buildings.  

Source: Wray, Sarah. “’Mini Cities’: The Rise of Tall Buildings.” Smart Cities World, www.smartcitiesworld.net/opinions/opinions/mini-cities-the-rise-of-tall-buildings

2. Creates More Homes – There is a correlation between density of a city with the number and height of tall buildings. High-rises allow for more homes by building vertically rather than building wide or horizontally. 

Source: “The Pros and Cons of the Skyscraper.” RG Group, 17 Apr. 2018, rg-group.co.uk/the-pros-and-cons-of-the-skyscraper/#

3. Creates More Office Space – Tall buildings or skyscrapers are able to satisfy the needs and desires for companies to be in proximity together in dense, urban areas. Building up answers vast company demand for city office space. 

Source: Barr, Jason. “The Economics of Skyscraper Height (Part IV): …

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Help To Buy For First Time Buyers

The name provides a definition for itself. First time home buyers are people in the market buying a home for the first time. Compared to other home buyers, such as trader-up borrowers and mortgage switchers, first time buyers have different benefits and restrictions when borrowing than other borrowers. The Central Bank of Ireland requires a 10% down payment for first time buyers. Now, for first time buyers, a 45,000 euro down payment for a 450,000 euro home may be somewhat daunting. However, the Central Bank has offered assistance for their first time buyers to keep them in the market. The Central Bank offers a help to buy program. This benefit allows for first time buyers of new houses and apartments to take a 5% tax rebate off of properties less than 500,000 euros. In a recent case at Irish Mortgage Brokers, a married couple came looking for a mortgage on their first home. The couple did not have a home in mind at the time, but based on their income, the couple had roughly below 500k to spend. Both individuals …

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Mortgage Backed Securities: United States and Ireland

The United States government wants mortgages readily available for people in the market for a new home. In order for mortgages to be available, banks would have to have enough capital to make such loans. In effort to support banks, the United States Congress has federal mortgage organizations to monitor and support the mortgage market. Three federal mortgage organizations that exist are Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. While these may sound like foolish nicknames for government-created organizations, these organizations are vital for monitoring mortgage banks in the United States. If too much capital is readily available from banks to the public, these government organizations buy mortgages from banks. Upon the organizations’ purchase from the bank, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), for example, can hold these mortgages until a time of need or sell securities, backed by several of these mortgages, to investors willing to invest in real estate. The capital from the investors’ mortgage-backed securities purchase allows for more loans for new homebuyers, while the investors await return through the new homebuyers’ mortgage repayments. It is …

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Irish Insurance Brokers

Insurance brokers can offer a wide variety of services to customers. Some brokers specialize in certain areas of Insurance, investments, Pensions and other financial products. The main benefit of using the services of a broker over say a bank is that with a broker there are a number of different services offered to the client. In most cases banks are tied to an insurance agency so the client can only get 1 quote with them. In a brokerage, you will find a number of different providers with multiple different quotes and rates. This gives the broker some leverage over the insurance agencies in order to get the client the best deal available to them. 

For a potential client, the most time efficient way to price the market for a policy is to use a broker. The broker will offer the most suitable product available at the best price and in many circumstances improve on the policy already in place through a bank. 

There are a variety of insurance products on the market to suit every need. Life assurance on the …

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Safety Nets for Consumers in Mortgage Arrears

According to The Central Bank of Ireland, at the end of June 2019, there were 723,280 private residential (PDH) mortgage accounts for principal dwellings held. Of this, 61,901 accounts still had outstanding payments, also referred to as being in arrears. as of June, there were a total of 61,901 total accounts in arrears. Within that, over 18,000 were within 90 days overdue, almost 5,000 were up to 180 days overdue and a staggering 27,792 accounts were over 720 days overdue. However, at the end of the quarter only 1,407 homes were repossessed. So what protections do homeowners have when they are in arrears? In Ireland there are many codes and acts that are specifically designed to protect the family home from repossession.

The main code that deals with family homes, is the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) which was put into place in 2013. The code is issued by the Central bank and relates to customers in arrears and pre-arrears situation. It does not however deal with investment properties. This code requires mortgage lenders to apply the Mortgage …

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Ireland vs. EU: Education

When people think about higher education, there are a few countries and universities that immediately come to mind. The United States is consistently at the top of the world list, with the UK and Germany within the top 5. Schools such as MIT in the U.S. and Cambridge in the UK are two of the best and most popular universities in the world. However, Ireland doesn’t seem to fall too far behind some of these top countries. Ireland in some instances comes on top of the U.S. in relation to elementary education. There are many different studies that show different results. Yet throughout most there are some consistencies in how Ireland and the EU is ranked.

Based off of “The World University Rankings” for 2020, the UK has 8 of the top 10 universities in Europe. Ireland’s Trinity College is the top ranked Irish school, yet it doesn’t come in until 76th on the list. When looking at the population if Ireland, the statistics tell a different story. The population with at least upper secondary education in Ireland is well …

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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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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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