Property Tax: What we know so far

David Murphy Business Editor As the Budget approaches it is becoming clear the property tax will form a large part of package of measures which will be unveiled by Michael Noonan. Politicians I have spoken to believe the new levy will be no surprise to homeowners. But many ordinary people may be taken aback by what is planned. Ministers plan to levy the tax as 0.2% of the value of a home. In other words – divide the price of …

Deposit dilemma facing Irish banks

  by Business Editor David Murphy @davidmurphyRTE There have been a lot of concerns about the reluctance of banks to lend to businesses. The boss of the Credit Review Office, John Trethowan, has said he is “disappointed” by the provision of loans to firms. Mr Trethowan knows what he is talking about. So the complaints seem well justified. The head of the Department of Finance, John Moran, has made some interesting comments on the issue. He said part of the problem …

Festering sore of bankers’ pay won’t go away

By David Murphy, Business Editor @davidmurphyRTE It is no surprise the enormous salaries and pensions paid to bankers continue to make people deeply uncomfortable. Citizens who still have jobs are paying higher taxes, services are being cut, while many others can’t get work. The taxpayer was forced to hand over €64 billion to clean up the mess left behind by the bankers. Sleepy regulators and politicians who were cheer-leading during the craziness didn’t help either. So why do bankers feel entitled …

Debt Service and the Promissory note

By Economics Correspondent Seán Whelan @seanwhelanRTE It’s a number that leaps off the page – €1.9 billion in interest for the promissory note payment due next March.  It alone counts for most of the €3 billion jump in debt service costs next year. According to the medium term fiscal statement, the total interest bill for the state is estimated at €6.3 billion this year, but surges to €9.3 billion next year – that’s 48% more interest on debt. Without the …

Budget farce about to begin

By David Murphy, Business Editor @davidmurphyRTE When people are under pressure it is illuminating to see which values they hold dear. Last year Norway was stunned by the killing of 77 mostly young people by Anders Behring Breivik. The country’s prime minister gave a fascinating address in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity. Knut Storberget said the proper answer to the violence was “more openness”. Nordic countries place a great deal of emphasis on transparency. But it is something which many …

Judge 1 – Rating Agency 0

  by Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan @seanwhelanRTE Bathurst is a small town 200km west of Sydney that is best known (to me at least) as the home of the Bathurst 1000 motor race. It is not known as a place that has its finger on the pulse of the GLOBOXX index. But why should it? After all a regional council’s job is looking after local services, promoting the local university, helping out with the local, internationally famous, motor race. No, …

Bad day for Bank of Ireland’s Richie Boucher

By Business Editor David Murphy @davidmurphyRTE When politicians from the Oireachtas finance committee ran the rule over the chief executives from Bank of Ireland, AIB and IBRC recently, there were some unexpected results. Triple A rating went to the committee’s chairman Labour TD Ciarán Lynch who succeeded in keeping speakers within time limits, including Fine Gael’s loquacious Peter Matthews. Hovering above junk status was the performance of Bank of Ireland boss Richie Boucher whose terse answers gave politicians ammunition to lambast …

Greek problems could cloud Kenny-Merkel talks

 By Economics Correspondent Seán Whelan @seanwhelanRTE Just when you think you’re getting somewhere with the talks on Ireland’s bank debt burden, more Greek problems jump up and cause panic, like a horror-film monster that refuses to die. First there is the news that even after big haircuts on private sector creditors, Greece’s national debt has still not stabilised, and is in worse shape than anyone imagined.  It was meant to stabilise at 167% of GDP this year and decline to …