Finance Minister Michael Noonan will hold a series of talks in Brussels starting today about renegotiating bailout loans from the International Monetary Fund.
Mr Noonan has said taxpayers could save up to €375m per year if the State was able to pay-off a share of the IMF portion of the €67.5bn bailout. Any deal needs support from several quarters in Brussels but would give the Finance Minister plenty of scope to cut taxes in next month's Budget.
He is meeting newly appointed EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Jyrki Katainen today.
On Tuesday, he will meet Klaus Regling, who heads the European Stability Mechanism; Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup; and European Central Bank governor Mario Draghi.
The Limerick man will also be holding a series of meetings with EU finance ministers at the Informal Ecofin meeting in Milan on Friday week. The meeting is taking place as part of the Italian Presidency of the European Council.
THE Government should use tax cuts to stem the mass exodus of young people from Ireland, business body IBEC has urged.
Its 2014 Consumer Monitor, while portraying an economy firmly in recovery mode, said the flood of 20 to 35-year-olds risks bringing progress to a grinding halt.
And the Government can afford income tax cuts of €300m in the upcoming budget.
This age group is the only one in which emigration and joblessness is still rising.
The Government must prioritise cutting income taxes to entice these people back to Ireland, the country's biggest business group said.
Its annual snapshot of consumer finances, while lamenting the loss of young people, still painted a highly positive picture of an economy firmly in recovery.
The report found that:
Household savings are falling as we start spending once again.
Goodbody Stockbrokers has bought BDO's private wealth management advisory business, the Irish Independent can reveal.
BDO's private wealth team has a staff of 12, offering everything from investment advice to pensions structuring. It prides itself on not being affiliated to any single banking institution or life assurance company.
As part of the sale agreement, managing director Michelle O'Keefe and members of her team will transfer across to Goodbody's in September.
The 12-year-old unit will join Goodbody's 270-strong investment team, which oversees €6bn of funds under management.
BDO put the unit up for sale because it wants to focus on its core business, audit, tax and advisory services, it is understood. The accounting firm employs 400 people across Dublin, Limerick and Belfast.
Health insurance companies will be asked to freeze the price of their policies for as much as two years in exchange for a Government commitment not to increase some taxes on the industry over the same period.
The proposal, which will be discussed by the Cabinet in the coming weeks, will form part of a drive to increase the take-up of health insurance, particularly among younger people, and to stem the relentless flow of consumers leaving the market since the start of the recession.
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar will also propose a sliding scale of discounts on insurance policies for people between 21 and 25 to incentivise them to take up health insurance.
John McManus: There is a school of thought that the solution to Dublin’s housing “crisis” is to unleash the same bunch of property developers who made such a mess of it the last time round.
There was a good example in yesterday’s Sunday Independent in which an article detailing how Derek Quinlan has paid off €3 billion of his €3.5 billion debts went on to quote a source close to Mr Quinlan as saying the following: “The country needs to get going again and you can’t do it without developers and financiers. We actually need Nama to allow the likes of Johnny Ronan and Derek Quinlan to get back to work and start spending money and create employment in the Irish economy.”
An ally of German chancellor Angela Merkel criticised the European Central Bank and its president Mario Draghi in a rare public attack, telling Bild newspaper the ECB’s new schemes to bolster lending and buy asset-backed securities would scare Germans and help the far right.
“It’s only going to frighten a lot of people when ECB chief Mario Draghi opens up the central bank’s money tap and at the same time buys junk paper,” Christian Social Union chairman and Bavaria state premier Horst Seehofer said.
Ireland is well placed to attract major new flows of foreign direct investment from multinationals in Australia and New Zealand, the Government has said.
Speaking on the back of last week’s successful Enterprise Ireland/IDA-backed trade mission to Australia — which yielded contracts worth a combined €10m for Irish firms and created 26 jobs — Jobs and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said he witnessed a growing awareness of Ireland’s innovation and capabilities on the trip.
Euro Topics: Global economy a huge house of cards: The ECB is helping to turn the global economy into a house of cards that will sooner or later collapse, the left-liberal Austrian daily De Standard warns: "The low interest rates have induced households to amass growing debts. In the past six years the ratio of household debt to disposable income rose globally from 155 to 175 percent. Investors and banks have become increasingly audacious because secure investments don't pay off, and therefore they take more risks. The result: the supply of high-yield corporate bonds has tripled in the past three years, and the proportion of borrowers with low credit ratings has risen dramatically. Added to that is the flight into material assets, above all luxury real estate. The central banks have turned the global economy into an enormous house of cards that will inevitably come crashing down sooner or later. And instead of stepping on the brakes, they're blithely carrying on as before."
Ball is in the court of Paris and Rome: The ECB's lowering of the base interest rate must be accompanied by reforms in struggling Italy and France, the conservative Spanish daily La Razón urges: "The problem is that there are obstacles that even the ECB can't overcome and that have to do with the enormous budget deficit that has accumulated in the Eurozone. This is braking growth and destroying the citizens' faith in the future. Without naming them explicitly, the ECB chief has once again admonished the governments of France and Italy, which still haven't carried out their promised reform programmes and whose public finances are dangerously deteriorating. The injection of liquidity and the devaluation of the euro against the dollar are without doubt sensible steps and will help countries like Spain that have done their homework. But they mustn't be used as an excuse to delay necessary reforms."
Trierweiler gives journalism a bad name: A book by journalist Valérie Trierweiler on her affair with French President François Hollande has already sold over 15,000 copies in France. Trierweiler is betraying her profession with her revelations, Jean-Noël Cuénod writes in his blog on the website of the regional daily La Tribune de Genève: "A journalist shares the president's bed. And after she's dumped she reveals a 'miserable little pile of secrets' (as Malraux put it). ... In this way she twice betrays her profession. First by entering the intimate spheres of power without shedding her journalist's persona, and also without being able to say anything about how this power is exercised. And secondly by using her knowledge solely to satisfy a personal desire for revenge. As for the president, already discredited by his wavering political course, he is now being made to look absurd by these revelations. ... Is it really surprising that politicians and journalists are rapidly losing the little credibility they still have?"