Analysis > David Murphy

ESRI shows customers bamboozled by choice

It is critical that regulatory bodies make use of a new ESRI study to ensure consumers are not bamboozled into overpaying or making the wrong purchase, writes Business Editor David Murphy. We all know the feeling – you go to buy something and within minutes you are completely bamboozled. Perhaps health insurance is the best example. There can often be 30 different policies on offer within a limited price range. Each policy has a vast array of different features. Some …

The little fish get named and shamed – others get lawyers

It seems ironic that after a banking collapse and a string of insurance failures that the only person named as failing a fitness and probity test was working for a Co Tipperary brokerage. This week the Central Bank issued a notice prohibiting Darren Gleeson from carrying out certain functions in a regulated company. Mr Gleeson of Portroe in Nenagh is well known as a former All Ireland medal winning hurler. Until last year he was a director of Quinlan Financial …

Irish Water deal muddies prospects of fixing leaks

Whatever the arguments in favour of accepting Fianna Fáil’s demands for suspending water charges, it is abundantly clear some Fine Gael ministers believe it was not in the public interest. Taoiseach Enda Kenny decided acquiescing to Fianna Fáil’s stipulations to suspend for nine months was better than calling a second general election. But by opting to halt paying for water a Rubicon has been crossed. It will now be a political nightmare to resume charging and any government will have …

Ireland misses pollution targets by a mile

One of the faults of journalism, and it has many, is that it often lets the urgent overshadow the important. One of the biggest threats to life on the planet is climate change. This country is going to miss its greenhouse gas emissions targets completely and the Government’s own plans to address this shortcoming are hopeless. And that’s the view of a State body. Ireland is supposed to reduce its emissions to 20% below 2005 levels by the year 2020. …

IBRC loans probe falls victim to political hiatus  

Last year there was a political storm over the sale of loans by IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank. A tide of unease swept across Leinster House and prompted the Government to establish a Commission of Investigation last June. Many loans were sold by the bank at a discount – the question for the judge leading the investigation, Brian Cregan, was whether the taxpayer suffered an unnecessary loss. Among transactions under the microscope was the sale of SiteServ. It was sold to …

Protracted political hiatus means bigger borrowing cost

Despite the inconclusive result of the General Election, Ireland’s borrowing costs remain very low at 0.8%. It is not surprising there has been little movement, because it frequently takes some weeks for the markets to digest an evolving situation. There are some reasons to believe that Ireland will be able to avoid ruffling the feathers of investors for some weeks – as long as a stable solid administration is formed. The main political parties stated in their manifestos that they …

General Election: How do the parties differ on housing?

Many politicians are on the receiving end of difficult questions from potential home buyers and those paying high-standard variable mortgages. Overhauled lending rules have made it more difficult to buy a home – although that is the price of a stable banking system, according to the Central Bank. The main political parties have made promises to property owners and first-time buyers. RTÉ Business Editor David Murphy takes a look at some of them. Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil is proposing to give potential …

Markets: Is it time to panic?

When a significant fall occurs in the stock market the most important question to ask is: Why? The initial trigger for the recent collapse was a long overdue fall in Chinese shares. The Shanghai Stock Exchange index had rocketed in value from 2,039 points in July, 2013 to 5,131 points in June, 2015. That was a staggering increase of 151%. That was never sustainable. Since June shares have fallen by 47%. In many respects it is not too surprising. Shanghai …

Election 2016 – What the parties are promising on tax

The main political parties are proposing a smörgåsbord of different measures to woo voters. Below are the key personal taxation measures from the various parties. Fine Gael: Inheritance tax ceiling up, 5% tax on incomes over €100,000 and abolish USC Fine Gael is proposing to abolish the USC between now and 2020. It is a big bold step and would cost a whopping €3.7 billion. To help pay for that the party would impose a 5% additional tax for those on …

Banking inquiry – Imperfect but not useless

Many may view the banking inquiry as a failure because of the absence of findings against individuals. That’s not surprising given the onerous restrictions on the probe. But it does lay responsibility for what happened on the shoulders of the regulators, government, Europe and bankers.