FINE Gael is warning the next Labour leader that there will be no
loosening of purse strings in the wake of the local and European elections
The senior coalition partner insists the Government won't ease up on planned
cuts in October's Budget to appease the electorate unless the funds are
The incoming Labour leader faces a monumental task to rebuild the party's
support following huge losses in the local and European elections.
Leadership candidates are expected to try to win support by promising an easing
of austerity measures and concessions for families hit hard by tough Budgets.
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton will today declare her candidacy for the
leadership following Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's resignation on Monday.
LENGTHY mortgages of up to 35 years are growing in popularity, in
the latest sign of a raging property market in built-up areas.
Financial experts warn that these long-term mortgages push up property prices,
while tying borrowers to a lifetime of debt.
Banks have been accused of maximising profits from first-time buyers by
encouraging them to take out so-called “super-term” mortgages.
They take up to 35 years to repay, but because the loan is stretched out over a
longer period, the monthly repayments are lower.
Super-term mortgages mean people can borrow more and this is pushing up prices,
according to finance expert Frank Conway of the ‘Irish Financial Review’ and
personal finance website for students, MoneyWhizz.org.
A SEPARATED father wants the State to pay enough rent supplement
so he can get a home big enough to allow him have regular visits from his four
children with whom he has open and overnight access.
In a case with implications for the entitlements of one parent families in
similar circumstances, the Dublin man, currently unemployed, argues he should
not be treated as a single person in his rent supplement application.
The High Court heard that his children live with their mother, who is working,
and her new partner in the family home in another city.
For a number of years until his separation in 2011, the man cared for the
children full-time at home while their mother worked.
He returned to Dublin in early 2012 to try and find work and lives with his
Wind is big business. Earlier this month, Siemens won a €1.5bn
contract for a Dutch offshore wind park that will also give Europe's largest
engineering company its biggest-ever energy service contract.
The order for the Gemini wind park, 85 kilometres offshore from Groningen,
Netherlands, comprises 150 wind turbines with a capacity of four megawatts
apiece, the Munich-based company said.
"We have considerably improved our service approach for this wind park," said
Markus Tacke, the head of the wind-power division at Siemens. The provision of
equipment accounted for about half of the contract's value, he said.
Ireland’s corporate tax regime will have to change
and it will not be possible to sustain current corporate residency rules, a
senior figure in the Irish foreign direct investment community has said.
Feargal O’Rourke, chairman of the tax policy
committee of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, and head of tax with PwC
Ireland, said the “realpolitik” of the global debate on corporation tax meant
Ireland’s rules needed to change.
Ireland’s corporate residency rules are important
to the global tax structures of companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google,
which have major headquarter operations here.
Irish law allows Irish incorporated companies to
be tax resident offshore in certain circumstances.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has reiterated Ireland’s claim for bank debt
relief from Europe, saying he told EU leaders last night that Irish families
were “worn out” with the efforts required to tackle the economic crash.
Having said on his arrival in Brussels that the result of the elections last
Friday could be seen as a message to EU leaders from the Irish people, the
Taoiseach said after last night’s summit that he had again raised the question
of the bank rescue with his European counterparts.
“I did point out to the council that in Ireland we have had five to six years of
very difficult circumstances, that many families are really strained and worn
out with the challenge that they’ve faced and put up with,” Mr Kenny said
shortly before midnight.
European Union leaders, stunned by a big Eurosceptic protest vote
in European Parliament elections, agreed on Tuesday to seek a package deal of
appointments to top EU jobs with an economic agenda to win back public
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the union’s most powerful leader, acknowledged
that her centre-right party’s candidate, former Luxembourg prime minister
Jean-Claude Juncker, may not end up heading the European Commission.
British prime minister David Cameron, under pressure after the anti-EU UK
Independence Party won the European Parliament election in Britain, came to the
EU summit in Brussels determined to block the nomination of Mr Juncker, seen in
London as an old-style European federalist.
Are financial crises an inevitable feature of capitalism? Must
the government rescue the system when huge crises occur? In his book Stress Test
, Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and US
treasury secretary during the 2007-09 crisis, answers “yes” to both questions.
Yet these answers also harm the legitimacy of a market economy. It is bad enough
if capitalism is crisis-prone. It is worse if the state feels obliged to rescue
those whose folly or criminality caused the damage, to protect the innocent.
Mr Geithner argues not only that crises are sure to recur but that governments
must react with overwhelming force. The only way to stop a crisis is to remove
the circumstances making it rational to panic.
Companies that come to Ireland are often frustrated by a failure
of authorities to plan and deliver on the most basic of services from roads to
Speaking at the Ibec breakfast briefing on ‘Making Cork Work’, Gerry Collins,
general manager of pharmaceutical company Janssen, said that in other parts of
the world, when a company invests, the road network will have been built to
accommodate the volume of workers that are heading out to the factory.
“When we look at where we are going to locate facilities around the world, we
don’t have to worry about the road network in and out of the plant, before we go
and build the plant there… They have already thought about the volume of people
that will be going in and out of those facilities, so you don’t have to take on
challenges like getting people in and out of the city.
“You don’t have problems like licensing volume for the facility or in terms of
waste, because they have already thought of that before we get there. What we
find in Ireland is there are a lot of promises made to get a facility into
Ireland and then you spend many years to correct or lobby, or get attention to
infrastructure deficits that exist in the location. That can’t continue.”
His concerns were echoed by Heineken Ireland chief executive Maggie Timoney, who
said she had discovered glossy brochures for a Cork events centre that turned
out to be three years old, but still there is no progress.
Euro Topics: After the European elections the
wrangling over the post of Commission president has begun. With the conservative
European People's Party behind him, Jean-Claude Juncker has the support of the
largest parliamentary group. But social democrat Martin Schulz is also laying
claim to the post. Schulz should concede his defeat, some commentators write.
Others doubt that Juncker can lead the EU out of its crisis.
Schulz should concede defeat: Although the social
democrats came second behind the conservative European People's Party in the
European elections, their candidate Martin Schulz is claiming the right to the
post of EU Commission President. On the evening of the elections he
said he was seeking the majority he needs to clinch the post. The
liberal-conservative daily Die Presse criticises his behaviour: "If the social
democrat wins out the heads of state and government would finally have an
argument for not taking account of the election results - namely that not even
the parliamentarians themselves are doing so. But this would send a fatal
signal. ... The major new feature of this election, the citizens' vote also
counting towards who becomes Commission President, would be destroyed with one
fell blow. So as a fair democrat Schulz must concede his defeat and convince his
faction to support Juncker. Because only a united parliament will have enough
power to put an end to the de facto decision-making by the heads of state and
government behind closed doors, and to put democracy first."
Juncker embodies the ancien régime: Despite the
conservatives' victory the election of Jean-Claude Juncker to Commission
President would be the wrong response to the election results, historian Timothy
Garton Ash comments in the left-liberal daily El País: "On the day
the Bastille was stormed in 1789, King Louis XVI wrote in his diary, 'rien'. Few
European leaders will have typed 'nothing' into their iPads today, but there is
a real danger that, in response to the revolutionary cry across the continent,
they will in effect do nothing. Today's rien has a face and a name. The name's
Juncker. Jean-Claude Juncker. A disastrous 'the same only more so' response from
Europe's leaders would be signalled by taking Juncker ... and making him
president of the European commission. ... Although he has considerable skills as
a politician and deal-maker, he personifies everything protest voters from left
to right distrust about remote European elites. He is, so to speak, the Louis
XVI of the EU."
A transnational peasant uprising: The
election victory for the Eurosceptics resembles the peasant uprisings in 14th
century France, the right-wing conservative daily Basler Zeitung writes,
commenting that the protests "across Euroland" are a "cross-border, as yet
peaceful uprising on the part of a mixed bag of protesters, carried out until
now with ballots instead of pitchforks. Just as back then the people were tired
of the nobility who lived off the back of the broad majority, today the
bureaucratic monster in Brussels is the object of the growing resentment.
Instead of getting angry at the crude manners of the thankless rabble, as the
blasé nobility did back then, the media should try to understand the roots of
the discontent. For example, how a clique lacking
democratic legitimacy can take horribly wrong decisions that double the number
of long term unemployed within just a few years, how they can drive whole
economies into bankruptcy and put more than ten percent of employable Europeans
on the street."
Renzi must unite Europe: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's
Social Democrats achieved a historic victory in Italy with 40.8 percent of the
vote while the populist parties suffered a crushing defeat.
Nonetheless Renzi now faces a difficult task, the liberal business daily Il Sole
24 Ore comments: "This was not a vote for Matteo Renzi but a vote for Italy.
Bolstered by an undoubtedly personal election victory, the prime minister found
the right words and acknowledged that his fellow countrymen did much to save
Europe and the euro with their vote. He knows that they have demonstrated
political intelligence by demanding a new Europe; profound change devoid of
destructive populism, in the spirit of the founding fathers of the community.
... Renzi must now introduce changes that give us the legitimacy to set in
motion the transformation of the Old Continent together with the founding
states, and to present the globalised world with a United States of Europe."
French conservatives on the edge of the abyss: In the
latest episode of the Bygmalion affair, which has shaken the conservative UMP to
its roots in France, the lawyer of the PR agency that received preferential
treatment has admitted that the agency received faked invoices from the party.
It appears that these were used to cover up vast over-spending on Nicholas
Sarkozy's 2012 election campaign. For the regional daily Le Journal du Centre,
the UMP is in free fall: "In this 'war of checks', it remains to be seen who
knew what - and signed what - when. ... In any event, no doubt much to the
relief of Jean-François Copé, Nicholas Sarkozy is now also in the crosshairs of
the UMP's snipers. ... We risk witnessing the destruction of an opposition party
that has proved unable to avoid the traps set for it by a presidential monarchy
that has fanned an untimely rivalry for the office of president. In the current
context one has a hard time seeing how Jean-François Copé could remain at the
helm of the UMP. But it's even harder to see who could succeed him in such a