Home » Tag Archives: Budget 2015

Tag Archives: Budget 2015

Lack of knowledge among small firms

Over 20% of small firms in the Clare area do not know who their local public representatives are, and only 18% are aware of the technology and business grants available worth up to €5,000. This was revealed in the inaugural Magnet Regional Business Barometer (MRBB), a study of over 600 SMEs across the Republic of Ireland by Amarach Research on behalf of cloud telecoms provider, Magnet,. The study revealed that companies of five staff and under are least confident, and all feel the Government is not doing enough for them. Nevertheless, more than 70% small firms in Clare and the Mid-West are optimistic about the year ahead, making them among the most positive in the country. SME decision makers are much more positive than the general public, with 75% of SMEs saying the economy is improving, while just 55% of the general public feel this is the case.The manufacturing sector is most positive in its outlook for the year ahead, …

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No rates reprieve as Budget adopted

Businesses will not benefit from any commercial cut in rates next year, ahead of the new equalisation process in 2016. Clare’s 2015 Draft Budget was passed at a meeting on Wednesday by 23 votes to three. It was opposed by Fine Gael Councillor Johnny Flynn and Independent Councillors Ian Lynch and James Breen. The new Annual Rate of Valuation (ARV) was set at €72.99, which is the existing county commercial rate. This proposal was passed by 23 votes to two, following opposition from Councillors Flynn and Lynch, with one abstention. Following this decision, it seems as if commercial rates in Ennis and Kilrush will have to increase from €65.45 and €61.93, respectively, up to the €72.99 over a five-year period, starting in 2016. Councillor Johnny Flynn argued there should be plenty of scope to reduce the county commercial rate down to the Ennis rate, considering up to €1 million should have been saved in increased efficiencies, following the abolition of …

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Older people not forgotten

Moves to increase the living alone allowance and introduce a Christmas bonus payment are proof older people have not been forgotten in Budget 2015, Clare TD Michael McNamara has asserted. “The slow but steady pick-up in the economy has allowed us to give something back in the recent Budget. We have been able to offer some relief to our older people in particular, who built this country and sacrificed so much in recent years,” he said in reaction to comments on the issues by Minister Brenda Howlin. “I’m glad to see the introduction of a 25% Christmas bonus, which pensioners here in Clare will receive this Christmas. “People around the country are at last beginning to feel some benefit from the recovery, and we want older people to be fully part of that recovery. Labour has always been deeply committed to supporting pensioners and older citizens, and the package of measures we have announced in this Budget show we have …

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Budget disappointment for hauliers

THE Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has expressed its deep disappointment that no change to commercial vehicle road tax was announced in this year’s budget. Commenting after the budget announcement, president of the IRHA, Eoin Gavin stated, “The association and its members are dismayed as to why Government has totally ignored the HGV road tax differential between Ireland and the rest of Europe. There was not even a mention of the importance of the sector in the Minister’s comments.” In order to prevent a further increase in the number of vehicles ‘reflagging’ to other jurisdictions, the IRHA is now calling on the Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe and the Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly to immediately intervene in order to protect jobs in the sector. Mr Gavin went on to state, “It is extremely disappointing and this will result in a significant number of vehicles registering to other jurisdictions where operating costs are more favourable. The available data over …

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Budget not enough to ‘protect basic rights’

A wide-ranging survey of civil society organisations published this Thursday indicates that while Budget 2015 may have offered some positive measures for various social groups, it does not go far enough to restore or protect basic rights downgraded over several years of austerity. Despite the increases in welfare rates and payments, organisations working in areas right across society – social welfare, minorities, health, children, LGBT, women, disabled persons, education and older people – saw either no change or a reduction in accessibility to rights from Budget 2015, according to FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres). The survey was conducted by FLAC and its PILA project on some 39 organisations across all areas of society in the aftermath of Budget 2015. “These results show that groups do recognise that some efforts were bring made by Government, but it is interesting to note that there was no sense of elation or even cautious optimism across the 39 participating bodies. Most felt there was …

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INMO: Not enough money for health

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), following its initial perusal of Budget 2015, has said it finds that the provision for health will not be sufficient to address major shortcomings facing the service. The INMO acknowledges that the budget would seem to maintain, for 2015, the level of expenditure actually being incurred in 2014. However this reality only confirms the following: The wholly inadequate budget given to the health service for 2014; The growing problems of lengthening waiting lists and emergency department overcrowding will not be addressed; Minimal potential for the opening of some of the 2,000 beds currently closed; and, Minimal potential for real reform of how services are delivered particularly in the areas of community nursing and other support services in primary care. “The INMO also notes, from within the allocation, that Ireland will spend €2.3 billion on prescription drugs. It remains our contention that this cost is very excessive with drugs in Ireland still being far …

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Students union’s mixed views on Budget

There has been a mixed reaction from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to education provisions in Budget 2015. USI has welcomed the decision revealed not to cut or otherwise amend the student maintenance grant, which is relied upon by thousands of students who would otherwise be unable to afford third level. The decision to frontload grant repayments to four payments in the first semester, five payments in the second semester, will help students handle the increased start-up costs of study, according to USI president, Laura Harmon. The students’ union sees the decision to return the €25m withheld from colleges in the 2013 and 2014 budgets is good news for education – but represents a drop in the ocean of required investment for third level education – which will experience a 1% cut in wage related and non-wage related expenditures, she cautioned. However, less positive in the budget for students is the decision to stick by pre-planned increases in …

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BreastCheck age extension welcomed

The Irish Cancer Society has welcomed the decision, outlined in Budget 2015, to make the necessary investment to ensure that BreastCheck is extended to women aged 65-69. “Since 2011, the Irish Cancer Society has been campaigning for women between the ages of 65-69 to be screened for breast cancer,” said Kathleen O’Meara, head of advocacy and communications at the Irish Cancer Society. One in ten of all breast cancers occur in the 65-69 age group. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) says that quality screening mammography carried out every two years in women who are 50-69 years of age should reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by about 35%. This means that one life will be saved for every 500 women screened. “Last month, the Irish Cancer Society highlighted the fact that extending BreastCheck to the 65-69 age group would save a minimum of 87 lives a year. We considered this to be a priority issue …

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