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30
Oct
2015

Irish Economy: In 1986 Sir Robert Armstrong, UK Cabinet Secretary, used a euphemism for lying that had its origin in 1796 — "economical with the truth" — during a court case in Australia on the British government's request for a ban on a book by a former spy. The admission by Enda Kenny, taoiseach, this week that his past claims that Patrick Honohan, Central Bank governor, had suggested on a Wednesday in some undated week that the Army could be required to protect banks and ATM machines, from expected mobs in the streets, were not correct, appears to be an admission of a lie rather than tailoring the truth. It also highlights the corrosive impact of political spin.

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29
Oct
2015

Joan Burton, tánaiste and minister of social protection, in an op-ed piece in the Irish Times today writes on "why public sector workers deserve a pay rise." We are not disputing that point in this analysis, but in support of her case Burton appears to be unaware that official data show that pay at Irish micro and small firms fell in the year to June 2015.

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28
Oct
2015

Doing Business 2016: The latest World Bank flagship assessment of the ease of doing business in 189 economies puts Singapore on top again while Ireland slipped to a 17 rank from 13 last year. In the global ranking stakes, joining Singapore on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are New Zealand, in second place; Denmark (3); South Korea (4); Hong Kong, China (5); United Kingdom (6); United States (7); Sweden (8); Norway (9); and Finland (10).

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21
Oct
2015
21
Oct
2015

Silk originated in China and the Silk Road is the collective name given to a number of ancient trade routes linking China and Central Asia. Modern China wants to recreate the Silk Road with road and rail links from Beijing via Urumqi in the north to western Europe. It sees the potential of boosting trade by US$2.6tn in the next decade, more than the value of its exports in 2013. The UK is the biggest European recipient of Chinese investment and the UK has the ambition to be China's top partner in Europe. Can Ireland gain from these developments?

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19
Oct
2015

Ireland: The national parliament's belated Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis, colloquially known as the Banking Inquiry, has yet to report but expect nothing as you shall not be disappointed. Enda Kenny, taoiseach, who has put tax cuts at the heart of his party's general election programme, in commonwith his recent predecessors merits the famous epitaph for the French Bourbons delivered by Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, prince de Bénévent: "they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing."

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16
Oct
2015

Finfacts reported in 2010 that the real price — on constant currency value basis calculated by stripping out inflation — of a Dutch house in Amsterdam, the commercial capital of The Netherlands, only doubled in more than 350 years according to IMF research. In Ireland through boom, bust and recovery, real prices have almost doubled in about 20 years.

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14
Oct
2015

Apart from a tax rise on cigarettes, the two ministerial statements on Tuesday setting out budget tax cuts and planned spending rises in 2016, were packed with items of cheer for the public that politicians yearn to deliver. Watching the change from the grim budgets from 2008, it seemed like a Morning in Ireland moment with the good times back at last.

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13
Oct
2015

Budget 2016 Day: Michael Noonan, finance minister, will begin his Budget statement at 2:15pm today and he is expected to confirm the official leaks in recent weeks of a package of tax cuts and spending hikes worth €3bn that the Government hopes will woo Irish voters in advance of an early 2016 general election.

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13
Oct
2015

"Give me a one-handed economist! All my economists say, 'On the one hand' and 'On the other,'" Harry Truman, US president 1945-1953, once said, and Monday's announcement of what is commonly called the Nobel Prize in Economics raises a perennial question on the claim of economics to be a science. For a start, the announcement on Monday was not on the winner of a Nobel Prize.

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