It’s time to deal with mortgage arrears

By David Murphy, Business Editor @davidmurphyRTE For many families next year will be defined by what is perhaps one of the most frightening chapters of the crisis as Ireland grapples with mortgage arrears. Thousands remain in limbo while the personal insolvency bill is making its way slowly through the Oireachtas. At the same time the Troika has secured agreement from the Government to plug a legal loophole which has blocked banks from repossessing properties.

Killing Drachmaphobia

  By Economics Correspondent Seán Whelan in Greece @seanwhelanRTE There is an EU Summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday of this week, but there is also a meeting of the Eurogroup finance ministers, who are expected to take a key decision on Greece – a decision to pay over the latest tranche of bailout money this country badly needs. Earlier today we met the Greek prime minster Antonis Samaras, who put the pending Eurogroup decision in perspective. Greece is …

Budget 2013 – Some observations

  By Economics Correspondent Seán Whelan @seanwhelanRTE  They cut less than they said they would.  And they taxed more than they said they would. Overall the Budget adjustment is the advertised €3.5 billion. But up until Saturday morning the official line was still a cut to current spending of €1.7 billion, and a tax rise of €1.25 billion (including carry over from measured announced in last year’s budget). Instead we got cuts to current spending of €1.44 billion and a …

Property tax – a blow to those in arrears

By Business Editor David Murphy @davidmurphyRTE Make no mistake. This property tax is tough. And the timing, at the nadir of an economic cycle, makes it even harder. While people on social welfare will be able – mostly – to defer the tax, let’s consider exactly what that means. It does not mean they won’t have to pay – instead it means the tax will accumulate on the home, with interest added at 4% per annum.

How China won the Iraq war

by Economics Correspondent Seán Whelan @seanwhelanRTE It seems the answer to the question “who won the Iraq war?” is – China.  India might also be deemed an acceptable answer. But China looks like the real winner of the Iraq war.  How come?  Because if the point of that war was oil, as many critics have asserted, then China looks like coming away with the lion’s share of that oil – and without having to fire a shot. According to the …