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Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 25, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Nov 25, 2014 - 1:01 PM

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Irish Independent

IT will be at least another two years before a register of all the debts of each consumer and company is in place, it has emerged.

This is despite demands from the EU Commission as far back as 2010 that a new register be set up.

A centralised register is needed to ensure banks and other lenders make informed decisions when handing out loans, and to protect borrowers from excessive debt.

Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath has criticised the delay in setting up the new body, which he said was recommended by the Law Reform Commission, and other bodies, as far back as 2009.

But Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has now admitted that the first phase of the new register is unlikely to be operational until 2016.

Information for the new register will be "supplied by lenders on a phased basis during the course of late 2015 and into 2016", Mr Noonan told the Fianna Fail deputy.

THIS year's growth forecast is being boosted by accounting anomalies from certain companies, the state's budgetary watchdog has said.

The Department of Finance has projected growth this year of 4.7pc, but the Fiscal Advisory Council has said gross domestic product in the first half of the year was inflated by so-called contract manufacturing involving possibly just a handful of companies.

This is where an Irish-resident firm contracts a manufacturer abroad to produce a good for supply to a client overseas. The sale of the good is recorded as a goods export, while the contracted production is considered a service import.

The Government is set to oppose European moves to water down 'net neutrality', one of the most contentious issues being debated in the technology industry.

The move means that telecoms operators such as Eircom, UPC and Vodafone would not be able to begin charging Irish companies extra for broadband users to access their sites.

Describing the matter as one that risks creating "internet fast tracks for those who can afford to pay", Minister for Communications Alex White told the Irish Independent that the Government is not in favour of giving private telecom firms the go-ahead to block websites such as Netflix and Google if they do not stump up a premium.

"I support open access," said Minister White. "Diluting that would be a concern."

Irish Times

John FitzGerald: Unwise fiscal policy choices in the 1977-1981 and 2003-2008 periods played a major role in the subsequent economic crises that did so much damage to Irish society. The consequences of adopting the wrong policies were high unemployment and emigration, cuts in public services, reduced personal incomes and a legacy of personal indebtedness.

With a general election in 2016, the next budget will be the last one of the outgoing government. Over the coming year parties will be preparing their election manifestoes to cover the period to early 2021. So it is important to consider what should be the budgetary strategy to 2021 to guide the decisions of political parties and the wider public.

A sharp rise in private consumption more than compensated for stubborn weakness in investment, helping the German economy post modest growth in the third quarter and avoid recession, data showed today.

Germany’s Federal Statistics Office confirmed an earlier flash estimate showing a 0.1 per cent rise in seasonally-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) on the quarter between July and September.

The number of senior mangers in HSE hospitals has increased by more than 10 per cent over the past 3½ years despite significant retrenchment in budgets over the period. The increase in numbers took place at the same time as nursing and support staff levels fell, according to an internal HSE report.

The report, obtained by The Irish Times under Freedom of Information legislation, indicates that overall the numbers of senior management staff (grade VIII level and above) in acute hospitals have increased from 273 in 2011 to 303 in 2014, a rise of 10.9 per cent.

Irish Examiner

Cork’s most famous country house has hit back at unfavourable reviews from a British journalist.

Renowned food critic Adrian Anthony Gill, who writes under the name AA Gill, visited the restaurant at Ballymaloe recently.

Writing in The Sunday Times Magazine, he complained about the layout of the car park, the items for sale in the kitchen shop, and the fact there were more women than men eating in the restaurant.

Eventually turning his critical gaze towards the food, Gill admitted the carrots were excellent — but there were too many of them for his taste, apparently. He also found fault with the seasoning and flavouring, describing them as “timid”.

Europe

Euro Topics: Sócrates left Portuguese in the lurch: Portugal is in shock after the arrest of ex-prime minister José Sócrates on Friday, the left-liberal Spanish daily El País observes, explaining why: "Although we don't know all the facts, Sócrates comes across as the captain who abandoned his ship, demanding sacrifices of its occupants that he himself had no intention of making. One of his final acts as head of government was to sign the agreement putting Portugal under the control of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission. ... While the Portuguese felt the effects of the austerity measures on their daily lives, Sócrates was in Paris enjoying his accumulated wealth, which his income can't justify - he claims he inherited it - and has left a trail passing through several tax havens behind him."

Flexible job market impoverishes young Brits: A growing number of young Britons have fallen below the poverty line in recent years, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds in a report published on Monday. The growing flexibility of the job market is mainly to blame, the left-liberal daily The Independent writes and calls for countermeasures: "Increasing the amount of social housing is one. Too much income of poorly paid younger workers drains into the hands of private landlords, in London especially. Cracking down on zero-hours contracts and raising the minimum wage may also be good ideas. But we need to recognise that record high levels of employment in this country are partly a result of what is euphemistically termed 'flexibility' in the labour market."

Erdoğan's religious zeal endangering Turkey: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected gender equality saying that equality between men and women was 'against nature' at a summit on Monday. Unbelievable, the liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera comments: "In a Europe that is forgetting its roots anything goes nowadays - even a Turkey that is drifting further and further towards religious fundamentalism at the behest of its all-powerful president. We are dealing with a country that no longer needs to preserve the appearance of separation between church and state. ... The times when Turkey was knocking on the EU's door are over. Only the IS threat prevents Erdoğan from steering the country towards radical Islamism. Rejection of gender equality is the simplest way to profess his new devotion to religious principles. It costs him nothing because no one will demand sanctions for this latest insult."


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