Homeowners who want to move house but
are afraid of losing their low interest tracker mortgages will be offered a
lifeline by two major banks. A tracker is a mortgage linked to the currently low
rate set by the European Central Bank.
Trackers are so cheap at the moment that the 375,000 homeowners who have them
are reluctant to move house because they will lose the valuable mortgage rate.
Now the Irish Independent has learned that Bank of Ireland is to let movers keep
their trackers for five years if they move house. And Permanent TSB is close to
signing off on a new deal that will see families moving keep their tracker rate
for the rest of the loan period.
With both banks, the tracker rate will apply to the outstanding amount of the
mortgage. Extra money needed to buy a new property will have to be borrowed at a
variable or a fixed rate.
THE wife of bust developer Sean Dunne is planning $154,000
(€120,000) worth of improvements to the basement of her new US mansion,
the Irish Independent can reveal.
US planning files show how Gayle Killilea has secured permission to finish the
basement of 22 Stillman Lane, with architect's drawings showing a cinema, wine
cellar, gym and sauna among other rooms.
Meanwhile, a chain of DIY stores is pursuing $17,000 (€13,200) in allegedly
unpaid bills for supplies used in work carried out on the same property in
The Dunnes are believed to have moved into the house in Greenwich, Connecticut,
at the end of March, shortly before Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy with debts of
more than $940m (€730m).
Elan will still have $1.2 billion of cash left to spend
if shareholders approve its first package of acquisitions announced this
morning, chief executive Kelly Martin said.
Elan agreed today to buy Austrian rare drug specialist AOP Orphan for €263.5m
and pay $40 million for a 48pc stake in Dubai-based sales and marketing firm
That followed a $1 billion royalties deal just a week ago as the Irish company
looks to fend off a takeover bid from US investment firm Royalty Pharma and
reshape its business following a multi-billion dollar drug sale in February.
"This isn't the end of the journey, it's the middle phase... We will have north
of $1 billion remaining on our balance sheet for additional investments in the
next 6-12 months," Martin said, describing the Royalty bid as "a bit of
Marks & Spencer has become the latest company to be embroiled in
the UK controversy over tax practices following
reports it uses an Irish subsidiary to bill European sales.
In a structure used only for overseas sales, the
company’s UK warehouses sell goods to Marks & Spencer (Ireland) Ltd at wholesale
prices, according to reports. The retailer dispatches online orders destined for
mainland Europe from the UK but bills the transaction to Ireland, according to
documents seen by the Guardian.
Talks on a revised public sector pay agreement at the Labour
Relations Commission later today amid fresh doubts
over the Government’s savings target.
Minister of State Brian Hayes has given the
Government’s first public indication that it may not generate €300 million in
savings on the public service pay and pensions bill this year under talks on a
revision to the Croke Park II deal. He said yesterday that the key issue
for the Government would be to secure €1 billion in savings by 2015.
He said the €300 million target was still an
ambition. However, some trade unions had advanced alternative proposals and he
said these may not deliver the full level of savings for this year, but could
produce them by 2014 or 2015.
Reports yesterday suggested that the Government may save €250 million this year.
However, other sources indicated the figure could be closer to €200 million.
The taxpayer could be forgiven for being a little
bemused at claims that jobs are at risk because of heavy-handed regulation of
Many of them will have just completed the
paperwork involved in paying their property tax. It is the latest instalment in
a five-year fiscal plan aimed at restoring the country’s solvency. Runaway
lending by poorly regulated banks was a very significant contributory factor in
our national bankruptcy. The bill for bailing them out currently stands
somewhere north of €60 billion and unemployment is stuck above 14 per cent for
reasons that are not unrelated.
Irish pensioners should consider the young before protesting over
cuts to their retirement income or asking for further benefits,
pension reformer Nick Sherry has said.
The former politician who ran Australia’s pension
system said the younger generation was already weighed down with debt, and was
bearing the brunt of the economic crisis, an effect being compounded by high
“People close to retirement who argue for greater
benefits should remember there are fewer young people around to pay for them and
they are putting a greater burden on them. It’s their kids and grandkids who
will have to pay for the benefits or increased payments.
“There are so many young people emigrating from
Ireland so there are fewer people around to pay when old people ask for more
European pension plans continue to shift out of equities, despite
rising equity markets across the globe during 2012 and 2013.
However, Irish pension schemes are not following the trend, with allocation to
equities steady at 44 per cent over the past 12 months, according to a new asset
allocation survey from pensions consultant Mercer.
For Paul Kenny, senior investment consultant with
Mercer, a combination of factors, such as a challenging and uncertain regulatory
background and the challenge of generating positive returns, has meant that some
Irish pension schemes have paused their “risk reducing journeys” over 2012.
However, he warned that the risks of static high equity allocations for defined
benefit pension schemes are “well understood” and long-term de-risking and
diversification out of equities remain important objectives.
Ireland will be able to maintain its current corporation tax code
in the face of international pressure to prevent
multinational corporations avoid paying their fare share of tax, Minister for
Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton said yesterday.
Mr Bruton said Ireland has a transparent low rate that does not have a lot of
special deals within it. His comments came days after British parliamentarians
castigated Google for paying just £6m (€7.1m) in corporation tax in 2011 despite
generating more than £3bn (€3.6bn) a year in revenues in the UK.
The eurozone is heading towards a break up unless there are moves
towards much closer political and fiscal union,
according to chief economist with State Street Global Advisers, Chris Probyn.
There were fears throughout most of 2011 and into 2012 that the single currency
would unravel amid unbearable strains between the member states.
But the much more interventionist ECB under president Mario Draghi has calmed
market fears, particularly in a speech last July when he said, “he would do
whatever it takes to save the euro”. At the beginning of last September the ECB
announced the Outright Monetary Transaction (OMT) programme that promised
unlimited purchases of the short term debt of distressed member states in return
for signing up to economic reforms.
From an economic perspective, the most positive outcome of the
treaty negotiations (ratified in 1922) was that the
Irish Free State acquired full fiscal autonomy from the UK thereafter.
But our new study of Irish economic history since
independence has revealed that the economy performed very poorly in the inter
war years relative to the British and European economies, despite vigorous
attempts to encourage growth, initially through improving agricultural exports
in the 1920s and subsequently through import substitution and protectionism.
The German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung complained on Friday: "The
base interest rate has been at a historic
0.5 percent since the beginning of May. This means an aggressive redistribution
of wealth and income, the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
angrily comments: "Thanks to the ECB, savers are getting a yield of just half a
percent. But even that is being eaten away by inflation, and on top of
everything else rising prices are nibbling away at capital. ... The politicians
and central banks are perfectly willing to accept this cold-blooded
expropriation of the savers and life insurance policy holders because they want
to help over-indebted states through the zero-interest policy. So while those
who are putting away money to make provisions for their old age are forced to
watch their promised pensions melt away like snow in the sun, debtor states are
happily taking out new loans because the money is so cheap. ... In future the
ECB will make sure that in the Eurozone money is redistributed from the
creditors to the debtors."
Lidové noviny of the Czech Republic said: With his package of measures
President Hollande is maneuvering himself into a corner,
the conservative daily Lidové noviny writes: "With the exception of the
elites in France and Southern Europe, no one shares Hollande's ideas. Most
of these, particularly on the subject of euro bonds, stand in direct
contrast to Germany's interests. This isn't about European ideals, but about
a fierce political battle over whether Europe will be more German or more
French. For the French this is dangerous, even if they manage to push
through their ideas. Once they pushed for the introduction of the euro in
return for Germany's reunification, in the hopes of curbing Berlin's
economic strength. However the exact opposite was the result."
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