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Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - July 31, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Jul 31, 2014 - 8:10 AM

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Irish Independent

HOUSE buyers face up to four more years of shortages before enough homes are built to meet demand, the head of AIB has warned.

The massive shortage of family homes in Dublin is being blamed for a surge in asking prices, with the cost of buying a house in the capital rising about 25pc over the past year.

The warning from AIB chief executive David Duffy will increase fears among renters and prospective house buyers that the housing market could be years away from a return to any degree of normality.

It came as Irish Water said that a lack of infrastructure – including water and sewage treatment plants – means that in some places desperately needed homes cannot be built even if there are builders ready to do the work.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted there is no new bubble but has admitted the cost of buying a home would continue to rise for up to two years as supply fails to meet growing demand.

But AIB chief executive David Duffy suggested it could be even longer.

The cost of accommodation for students has risen to more than €1,000 per month.

As the accommodation crisis in the capital continues, new figures show the cost of rental accommodation for students has jumped 5.8pc in a year.

Students living in Dublin can now expect to pay from €302 for a shared room to as high as €1,013 for a one-bedroom apartment in some parts of the city.

The average cost of rent per month for students in the capital increased by 6.4pc last year.

A shortage of suitable student accommodation is to blame for the increase in rents.

The Student Cost of Living Guide 2014/2015, which was published by the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) yesterday, showed that students living at home can save families €3,893 per year.

A student who will be renting will have to budget €10,976 for living costs, whereas someone living at home needs to save €7,083 for the year.

Argentina is expected to default on its debt within hours after talks with holdout creditors broke down

As the clock ticked toward a midnight deadline, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof stuck firmly to the government line, repeatedly denigrating the holdouts as "vultures" after two days of intense negotiations.

Argentine banks scrambled to put together a proposal to buy out the non-performing debt held by hedge funds and avert a default. But that deal collapsed, a senior banking executive and a second source from the financial market said.

"It all fell through," said the banking executive.

A default will hurt an economy already in recession, fueling risks to consumer prices in a country with one of the world's highest inflation rates and putting more pressure on a peso that was devalued sharply early in the year.

It also marks a set-back to the Buenos Aires government's attempts to return to global credit markets. Argentina has been isolated from international financial markets since its record $100 billion default in 2002.

Irish Times

In May 2013, Apple was one of several US multinationals in the hot seat before a bipartisan US senate subcommittee investigating the use of corporate tax avoidance schemes.

Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland made international headlines, as Apple chief executive Tim Cook revealed that the company paid a sixth of Ireland’s multinational tax rate of 12.5 per cent.

The Irish Government was quick to deny assertions that it was providing a “tax haven” to such companies.

Two of the senators leading the investigation retorted with a joint statement, insisting: “Most reasonable people would agree that negotiating special tax arrangements that allow companies to pay little or no income tax meets a common-sense definition of a tax haven.”

A New York judge has dismissed a case being taken by developer John Flynn and related entities against the National Asset Management Agency and the former management of Anglo Irish Bank using anti-Mafia laws.

District Judge Lewis A Kaplan ruled in the southern district of New York yesterday that a civil racketeering case being taken by Mr Flynn and four members of his family should be dismissed on the grounds that it related to Ireland more than the United States.

The decision will be watched closely by other developers who are considering taking against Nama in the US rather than at home.

A source close to Mr Flynn said he planned to file a motion of reconsideration within days to ask the judge to review his decision.

*Mr Bruton said Ireland did not promote or favour tax inversion deals and would support US efforts to clampdown on the issue.

The Government’s policy document, published today, focus on creating more than 7,000 net jobs a year from FDI between 2015 and 2020.

It suggests the next phase of the campaign must be based on portraying Ireland as a great place to live, allied to talent, technology and the development of new sectors.

Mr Bruton asked the IDA to prepare a new strategy for the five years to 2020 outlining a series of targets for jobs, investments and the regions and how they will be delivered.

*Not true: More brass necks than brass plates in tax row

Irish corporate tax policy like property bubble driven by short-term interests

Irish Examiner

More than 400,000 people remain on the dole despite a drop in the numbers signing on for welfare payments, latest figures show.

There were 404,515 citizens claiming benefits last month — a drop of more than 37,000, or 8.5%, since the same time last year.

However, 11.5% of the workforce has no job.

The study, by the Central Statistics Office, shows men are more likely to come off the dole than women.

Almost four times as many men (2,600) than women (700) signed off this month, according to seasonally adjusted figures.

Over the year, there was an almost 11% dip in the number of men claiming benefits compared to a near 5% decrease in women.

Europe

Euro Topics: The Guardian reports that United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday.
 
 At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp was hit by five shells during a night of relentless bombardment across Gaza. More than 100 people were injured.
 
 Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said the attack was "outrageous and unjustifiable" and demanded "accountability and justice". The UN said its officials had repeatedly given details of the school and its refugee population to Israel.

Italy stalling on reforms: Italy's national debt has hit a new high. In the middle of July the Italian central bank announced that it had risen to €2.166tn. Italy must finally launch its long overdue reforms, the liberal Swiss daily Corriere del Ticino warns: "Little can be seen to date of the major cuts in public spending promised by the Italian government. And according to many investors, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's call for more flexibility in Europe's fiscal policy instead is not having a positive effect for the government either. Italian government bonds haven't been targeted by investors yet because the European Central Bank is shielding them. But the danger is there. The concerns of many investors can already be felt at the stock exchanges in Milan and the rest of the Eurozone. The financial markets are still waiting for Italy to make a true change of course."

Fracking makes Europe more free: The British government began receiving tenders for fracking licences for the first time in six years on Monday. Sweden and the rest of Europe should also set aside their doubts about this controversial method for mining oil and gas, the conservative daily Svenska Dagbladet believes: "Certainly fracking entails risks. ... But Sweden won't be able to cover its energy demands with renewable energies alone. And for other European countries this is doubly true. Sweden doesn't need Russian gas exports, but countries like Finland, Lithuania, Bulgaria and above all Germany and Poland depend on Putin's gas. Shale gas and in the long term shale oil can make Europe more independent. This also goes for our oil imports from the Gulf states, where our money directly benefits undemocratic regimes."

Cameron fishing in far-right waters: British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged on Tuesday to tighten the immigration laws, cut social benefits for immigrants and introduce an "immigration system that puts Britain first". The left-liberal daily The Independent sees this as a coldly calculated sharpening of his rhetoric: "However depressing the vision of a once relatively civilised Tory descending into such brutishness, this is good politics. Assuaging the paranoid fears and courting the xenophobia of those who dislike foreigners is about as crude an anti-Ukip ploy as there could be, and will pay a dividend at the polls. If Mr Cameron cannot win cleanly, he has clearly prepared to win ugly. ... There must be a part of him - the better part of him - that guiltily recoils from the transaction as he sells the remnants of his compassionate Conservative soul to vicious sledgehammer campaigning."


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