|Germany's World Cup team wlecomed in Berlin, July 15, 2015
THOUSANDS of people over the age of 50 are over-paying for their
health insurance. But huge savings are possible by changing plans and staying
with the same insurer.
Spiralling premium costs and changes in the benefits offered on plans that were
traditionally popular with those who have been insured for a long time mean they
often have costly cover.
If you have not reviewed your cover for two years, or if all of the family is on
the same level of cover, then the chances are that you are paying too much,
expert Dermot Goode of Healthinsurancesavings.ie says.
Some people are paying for a private room when they may be able to dramatically
reduce the cost of their health insurance by opting for a semi-private room, he
"To be fair to the health insurers, they are responding to the affordability
issue in the market by launching new lower-cost plans. In some cases, they will
'clone' existing plans and launch them under a new name but at a lower cost."
MICROSOFT is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years
as the software maker looks to integrate Nokia Oyj's handset unit, Bloomberg
reported, citing people with knowledge of the company's plans.
The company employs 1,200 full time employees and 700 full-time contract staff
The reductions, expected to be announced as soon as this week, could be in the
Nokia unit and the parts of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well
as in marketing and engineering, Bloomberg reported.
Since absorbing the handset business of Nokia this spring, Microsoft has 127,000
employees, far more than rivals Apple Inc and Google Inc. Wall Street is
expecting Chief Executive Satya Nadella to make some cuts, which would represent
Microsoft's first major layoffs since 2009.
The restructuring may end up being the biggest in Microsoft history, topping the
5,800 jobs cut in 2009, the report said.
OUTSPOKEN Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary intends to stay at the
helm of the airline for at least another five years.
In an interview with the Irish Independent, the aviation chief confirmed that he
has signed up to stay at the reinvented Ryanair until he's 58.
However, he insisted that he couldn't imagine himself still being there by the
time he becomes eligible to draw the state pension.
"I'd go nuts if I thought I was going to be here for another 15 years," he said
at the company's HQ near Dublin Airport, where he was helping to launch
Ryanair's new booking app.
Jean-Claude Juncker set out a “grand coalition” investment programme aimed at
reviving Europe’s economy in an impassioned speech today seeking confirmation as
the next head of the executive European Commission.
Belying his reputation as a veteran back-room
fixer, Mr Juncker spoke with eloquence and fire of his ambition to
reindustrialise Europe and put the European Union’s 25 million unemployed, many
of them young, back into work. He promised a €300 billion public-private
investment programme over the next three years, combining existing and perhaps
augmented resources from the EU budget and the European Investment Bank with
private sector funds, to build energy, transport and broadband networks and
“We need a reindustrialisation of Europe,” the
59-year-old former Luxembourg prime minister said. He won strong endorsement
from the Socialist group in the European parliament as well as his own
centre-right bloc, the largest in the EU legislature.
A number of economists have warned that October’s budget may be too early for
the Government to take action to lower the amount of tax paid by people at the
top rate of 52 per cent.
Following the Cabinet reshuffle last Friday the Coalition published a “statement
of priorities” for its remaining 21 months in office. It included a commitment
to publish a tax reform plan “to be delivered over a number of budgets to reduce
the 52 per cent tax rate on low- and middle-income earners.”
Jim Power, chief economist at Friends First, said that, having just exited the
EU-IMF bailout, talk of tax cuts was “premature”. He said arguably the most
positive thing the Government could do in the remainder of its lifetime would be
to deliver two “neutral budgets”.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has indicated that a budget correction of
less than the previously forecast €2 billion will be required in October, as a
result of positive trends in economic data.
John FitzGerald of the Economic and Social Research Institute said the
Government should plan to introduce a €2 billion correction and lower the target
to €1 billion, or less, if the data remained positive closer to the time.
Robert Pitt has been appointed as the new chief executive of Independent News
and Media to replace Vincent Crowley who retired in May.
Mr Pitt (43), who will take up the new role in
the autumn, has held a number of senior roles in the retail sector in Eastern
Europe over the past 20 years.
A graduate of University College Dublin, with a
BA in Economics, the father of four was most recently chief operations officer
at Tesco in the Czech Republic from May 2012 onwards.
Mr Pitt emigrated to the Czech Republic in 1993
and spent time working in construction before getting a job with
PricewaterhouseCoopers in Prague. He stayed there for two years before leaving
to set up a joint venture in Beijing, returning to Ireland in the late 1990s,
where he played a key role in helping to establish Lidl here
An Irish private equity fund aimed at investing in small and
medium enterprises closed yesterday having raised €290m.
The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund, run by asset managers, the Carlyle Group and
Cardinal Capital, performed extremely well with investment levels at the “higher
end” of the partners’ expectations, according to a Carlyle spokesperson.
The success of the fundraising process illustrates the favourable investment
opportunities available in the Irish market at present, according to Carlyle
managing director Robert Easton.
Two of the funds key investors are the Irish National Pensions Reserve and
Carlyle and Cardinal now have five years to invest the €290m raised and a
further five years to improve the performance of the firms it invests in.
According to a Carlyle spokesperson, technology, media and telecommunications
firms represent a key area of interest for the fund, in line with the group’s
Euro Topic: Palestinians blew chance for
democracy: Hamas could have founded a democratic state nine years ago with
the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip and the clearing of
Jewish settlements from the West Bank, the right-wing liberal daily
Jyllands-Posten points out: "Imagine if the Palestinians had used this chance
and shown the world that they can establish democratic institutions, attract
investments and live in peace alongside Israel. Presumably Israel would have
withdrawn from the West Bank, and a Palestinian state would have been
recognized. That sounds like a utopia, but 15 to 20 years ago the Palestinians
were the ones who were best prepared for democracy in the Arab world.
Paradoxically, that had to do with their close ties to Israel. The Palestinians
watched Israeli television, spoke Hebrew, worked in Israel and experienced
democracy in action. ... Despite the conflicts with Israel, they chalked up
experiences with democracy. ... Today that experience has largely vanished."
Only talks can stop more Hamas aggression: Egypt's plan for a ceasefire has
failed and at any rate it can't take the place of peace talks, the liberal
Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore argues: "Who will reach their goal
first: the Israeli infantry or international diplomacy? The force of the latter
is impressive, but clearly there is no one in charge. ... Now Egypt's president
Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is intervening. He doesn't know whether to hope Israel will
eliminate Hamas (the Palestinian version of his enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood)
or whether he should prevent a conflict on the borders of his economically
ruined country. ... Only a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the
State of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, could prevent
Hamas from firing missiles again six months or two years from now."
In the traditional Bastille Day televised interview on Monday, French
President François Hollande reaffirmed his reform policy and called on the
French to be more optimistic. The Catholic French daily La Croix is
sceptical about whether the president's promises will be fulfilled: "The
circumstances were rather favourable for this message of appeasement: the
Bastille Day ceremonies provided a moment of togetherness. The televised
interview let the president underline his priorities and set the agenda. In a
period of sluggish growth, Hollande continues to play the recovery card and urge
the French to trust in the future. At the same time he announced a reform
programme that would last until 2017: in 2015 health services, in 2016 social
issues. ... A busy timetable meant to stress the dynamism of the president and
his government. In the meantime the French continue to set their hopes on a
Footballers enhance Germany's image: After their World Cup victory in Brazil
the German team will receive a rapturous reception at a fan fest in Berlin
today, Tuesday. The conservative daily Die Welt stresses the positive impact
the footballers have had on Germany's international image: "This team has done
the same for the way the world and Germans perceive Germany as Willy Brandt did
when he went down on his knees in Warsaw and Helmut Kohl did in Verdun. The team
has become the most popular manifestation of what is seen as German both abroad
and here in Germany. ... This team is less a confirmation of German policy or
its charming double, as some would have it, than an exciting counterpoint to it.
Löw's line-up was the ideal combination of team spirit and individuality. The
collective triumphed in exploiting the full potential of each individual