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News : International Last Updated: Sep 9, 2014 - 5:09 PM


Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - September 09, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Sep 9, 2014 - 2:39 PM

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Irish Independent

Irish teachers are among the best paid in the world.

Despite the salary cuts of recent years, their salaries remain among the highest of more than 30 countries worldwide.

The annual Education at a Glance report from the international think tank, the OECD, shows that Irish primary teachers are sixth in the world in pay terms, while, at second-level, they are in seventh position.

The international comparison is base don salaries in the 2012 year and the report notes that teacher salaries in a number o f countries, including Ireland, were significantly affected by the 2008 economic crisis.

In the interests of transparency between currencies and living costs, converts salaries using a measure based on purchasing power in different countries.

Workers could have up to €10 a week extra in their pay packets after the next budget, a Cabinet minister has revealed.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar said ‘relatively modest’ tax reforms may be implemented in the next budget but warned they should not be at the expense of services.

Mr Varadkar admitted he will be forced to ask for a supplementary budget to address the HSE overspend of €500m this year, but had not yet tackled next year’s allocation or how it might affect other areas of Budget 2015.

“I don’t think that people would welcome an increase in take home pay if it came at the expense of health services,” he said.

“Whatever tax package happens it’s going to be relatively modest.

Securing a deal to repay a portion of Ireland's IMF loan early will make the country's debt more sustainable and give security to people in their jobs and pensions, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has pledged.

But after the first leg of a whistle-stop tour of European capitals to seek approval for the plan, Mr Noonan cautioned that it was still early days as he needed the support of all European countries.

The minister has said taxpayers could save up to €375m per year if the State was able to pay-off a share of the International Monetary Fund portion of the €67.5bn bailout early, using cheaper market funding.

Irish Times

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said the upcoming Budget will be “broadly neutral” as a result of better than expected improvements in the economy.

He said “things have improved significantly” since the Government published the last economic forecast in April, when it was envisaged cuts of €2.1 billion would have to be made in order to achieve the EU target of a 3 per cent deficit by the end of next year.

It had been estimated that around €1.4 billion would come from expenditure cuts, and €700 million in additional taxes.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said the upcoming Budget will be “broadly neutral” as a result of better than expected improvements in the economy.

He said “things have improved significantly” since the Government published the last economic forecast in April, when it was envisaged cuts of €2.1 billion would have to be made in order to achieve the EU target of a 3 per cent deficit by the end of next year.

It had been estimated that around €1.4 billion would come from expenditure cuts, and €700 million in additional taxes.

I have waited a decent interval to write this and it is tempting not to bother. But there is a question that needs to be addressed. It is posed because, each time a former taoiseach dies, it becomes suddenly clear to us that we are the best governed country in the world.

It turns out that each and every one of our leaders was a giant among men, a selfless visionary, a patriot to his fingertips. We realise that we have been extraordinarily lucky to share this little island and our own little lifetimes with men who, if they were kings, would have “the Great” appended to their names.

It dawns on us that we have never been led by a mere politician – only by statesmen. I hope it will be a very long time before we experience it, but when, for example, Bertie Ahern’s time comes, he too will turn out to have been a much-maligned patriot, visionary and man of the people.

Facebook’s market value exceeded $200 billion to put it among the world’s biggest corporations, as investors bet on the company to capitalise on the future of mobile advertising.

Facebook shares rose 0.8 per cent to $77.89 at yesterday’s close in New York, valuing the company at $201.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That made it the 22nd- largest company in the world, behind Verizon Communications and ahead of Toyota Motor Corp. The stock has jumped 9.3 per cent since July 23, compared with a 0.7 per cent increase in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, after Facebook reported a 61 per cent increase in second-quarter sales to $2.91 billion.

Mobile promotions accounted for 62 per cent of ad sales, up from 59 per cent in the prior period. The gains are a far cry from Facebook’s May 2012 initial public offering, when a lack of mobile revenue led to a plunge in its stock.

Irish Examiner

Specialist technology services firm Escher Group has said it is increasingly confident about its medium-term growth prospects on the back of recent contract wins in South Africa, Gibraltar, and the UAE, and a new e-commerce deal with Deutsche Post DHL.

The Boston and Dublin-based group, which specialises in point-of-sale e-commerce software solutions for leading international postal agents and other businesses, yesterday, as expected, reported first-half revenues of almost $11.1 million (€8.5m).

Pre-tax profits took a dip, however, going from $1.08m to $420,000. Revenue was down from nearly $12.9m a year earlier, as consulting services revenue declined on the back of a major contract moving from development and customisation phase to roll-out.

Europe

Euro Topics: The EU states have agreed on new sanctions against Russia in the Ukraine crisis. But rather than implementing them straight away they will wait to see whether the ceasefire is observed, Council President Herman Van Rompuy announced on Monday in Brussels. Commentators hail the consensus among the EU states, but also stress the need for continued cooperation with Russia.

Even if it's not clear when the sanctions will be imposed and one can argue if they are adequate, the resolution taken by the EU on Monday is the right approach, the left-liberal German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung lauds: "Remarkable first of all is the fact that the governments of 28 countries with very different interests were able to agree on sanctions against Russia at all. That shows that a European foreign policy is possible, at least in a rudimentary form. The planned sanctions aren't directed at 'the Russians', but target specific people and the oil industry - or in other words the Putin system. Clearly the West has learned from former mistakes when its sanctions were too broad-based and above all hurt the general population. If Putin now wants to retaliate and punish the EU states - for example with air traffic restrictions - it will hurt. But that's the price that must be paid to make it clear that serious breaches of international law will not be tolerated."

Don't yield to Moscow: The chairman of the biggest Dutch employers' association, Hans de Boer, has called for the sanctions against Russia to be eased saying they are not effective. A disgrace, the right-wing Dutch daily De Telegraaf comments: "Only a concerted and strong response can catapult President Putin and his clique back to reality and force them to submit. ... But clearly motivated by short-term economic interests, the chief of the employers' association believes the West should start a dialogue with Putin. And he's quite happy to give Crimea and perhaps even eastern Ukraine to the Russians. The lax stance of the employers is shameful and short-sighted. An end must be put to the power games of Putin and his troop. But history has taught us that giving in as De Boer wants to do won't bring lasting peace."

Massive cuts France's only hope: The French government will announce its budget policy for 2015 on Wednesday. If it wants to escape the fate of Greece the country has no option but to cut back by billions and raise taxes, Jacques Attali warns in his blog for the weekly magazine L'Express: "If it doesn't, France will be - along with Italy - the only European country that refuses to reform. The only country whose population is headed straight for bankruptcy and ruin. The only country deservedly treated by its European partners as a 'pretentious grasshopper' [as in the fable of the ant and the grasshopper], as a heedless coward and the gravedigger of the EU. The Union could (should, even, if it applies the treaties) put our country under supervision and send in representatives to balance the budget for us, like they did in Greece and Portugal. Just as you do with anyone who can't manage his own finances.


© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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