Analysis > David Murphy

David Murphy: Don’t expect a giveaway Budget

It is less than five weeks to the Budget and the annual routine of ministers arguing their cases for more money for their departments is well under way. Many of the ministers have legitimate cases. Despite the remarkable economic turnaround money is tight. EU rules prevent countries from excessive borrowing to pay for day-to-day spending. This week Minister for Finance Michael Noonan tried to manage expectations regarding the amount of money available. He stood by the Government’s previously stated position …

Apple money will be resting in our account

There is one fundamental truth which cannot be escaped from the Apple controversy: the company paid virtually no tax on vast tranches of its sales. Non-payment of any tax in any country means public services are deprived of revenue which could be spent on schools, hospitals or social housing. The row about Apple also spills over into Irish politics, the relationship between the EU and US and raises questions about the independence of sovereigns to determine their own tax affairs. Apple …

Broken-down: Ireland’s motor insurance

There have now been two recent cases of motor insurance companies, both regulated abroad, going bust, writes RTÉ’s Business Editor David Murphy. It means potential customers can no longer rely on regulators to protect them. In that vacuum it is becoming clear that the onus is on consumers to find out more before buying the cheapest policy. In 2014 Setanta, which was regulated in Malta, collapsed leaving unpaid claims of €90m. Last month, Gibraltar-regulated Enterprise Insurance went bust. Setanta is currently …

The real story behind Ireland’s ‘Leprechaun’ economics fiasco

Over the past few days we have learned much about the true story behind Ireland’s so-called “Leprechaun” economic figures. Senior civil servants and ministers were blindsided by the astonishing 26% economic growth figures for 2015 from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) – issued on 12 July. Some of the mandarins found out after the media, who were given the information under embargo 30 minutes in advance of publication at a press briefing. When the statisticians dropped their bombshell last week, ministers …

Meaningless economic statistics may cause problems

Ireland’s economy grew by more than a quarter last year – according to official statistics. But should we believe them? The straight answer is that they have been so badly distorted by activities by multinationals they are rendered meaningless. Aircraft bought by leasing companies, multinationals moving assets to Ireland and corporate restructuring have resulted in a dramatic increase in the size of the economy. The figures show the economy grew by a remarkable 26% last year in terms of Gross Domestic …

Five issues to watch after the Brexit bombshell

The Single Market Perhaps the biggest issue facing Ireland and the UK following the Brexit vote is the ability of Britain to retain access to the Single Market. This allows for the free movement of goods without the imposition of tariffs. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Britain cannot cherry pick the benefits of the EU without making its own contribution. “Those, for example, who want free access to the Single Market,” said Ms Merkel, “will in return have …

Britain votes to leave EU: What does it mean for Ireland?

Politically, socially and economically the decision of the UK to leave the European Union will have huge ramifications for Ireland, writes RTÉ Business Editor David Murphy. But the most immediate impact will be felt by Irish businesses and their employees. Sterling Sterling is falling rapidly against the euro and fell 8% in the hours after the result became clear. It is safe to assume sterling will remain very weak for a considerable period. That will make Irish exports to the …

Yanis Varoufakis comes to town. But did he help Greece?

Every year I make a point of attending the Dalkey Book Festival in Co Dublin, writes RTÉ’s Business Editor David Murphy. Run by economist David McWilliams and his highly-motivated wife Sian Smyth, the event has broadened from its literary origins to include a range of interesting speakers from the world of politics and economics. This year, one of the big name guests is the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis next Thursday. He is engaging, smart and controversial. This time …

Brexit could send Ireland back in time

Overlooking the River Liffey on Dublin’s docks is the neo-classical Customs House. The stunning building took ten years to construct and was completed in 1791 at a cost of £200,000, which was a fortune at the time. One of its purposes was to collect tariffs on goods coming into Dublin Port. At the time tariffs were seen as a positive mechanism for any country because they protected a nation’s domestic industry from foreign competitors. Since then economic thinking has been …

Laws to cut mortgage rates could be counter productive

A lot of mortgage customers feel ripped off. The reason is simple. Many people on standard variable rates are paying interest between 3.1% and 4.5%. Those lucky enough to have trackers are generally paying between 0.5% and 1.5%. So it is not surprising that the people with variable loans aren’t happy. The new Programme for Government promises to tackle the problem. It says it is “not ethically acceptable for Irish banks to charge excessive interest rates on standard variable rate …

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