Wednesday, 17th September 2014
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Wednesday, 6th November 2013

Waterford TD John Deasy has told the Dáil that the prospect of increasing charges on retail businesses, against a backdrop of vacant properties and the shift towards online shopping, are just two reasons why the commercial rates section of the new Local Government Bill "must be completely rewritten."

Speaking during the second stage debate on the proposed legislation, the Fine Gael Deputy described its Part 5 rates provisions as being totally divorced from "the realities of what is happening on high streets nationwide."

Commenting on amendments he intends jointly tabling with fellow Public Accounts Committee member, Labour TD Robert Dowds, Mr Deasy said the Bill, as written, could potentially amount to "a quadruple whammy."

Included in this are: changes to the rates refund scheme; the harmonisation of annual rates on valuation (ARVs) between merging local authorities; new upward valuations with no spreading out

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Wednesday, 6th November 2013

Latest property tax fiasco adds to distress of Waterford homeowners - O'Ryan

Waterford Cllr Michael J O'Ryan has said the latest fiasco in the collection of the property tax is causing considerable distress among homeowners in Waterford. According to the Fianna Fáil Cllr, Waterford homeowners who paid the tax in one go this year could soon receive letters asking them to pay next year's property tax before Christmas.

"It's only a few months since Waterford homeowners paid their property tax for 2013. Now many of them are receiving letters asking them to pay the full amount for next year before Christmas. They are being given little warning and they have absolutely no choice in the matter if they wish to pay the tax in one go," said Cllr O'Ryan.

"Unfortunately this is just the latest controversy in what has been a fiasco from

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Wednesday, 30th October 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

How does 'longevity’ affect pensions?

Ireland has experienced a rapid increase in longevity in recent years. In 1926, Irish male life expectancy was 57.4 and 65 year olds could expect to live another 12.8 years. Female life expectancy was 57.9 and those reaching 65 could live a further 13.4 years.

While male life expectancy grew steadily in subsequent years, it was only in 1991 that 65 year old males began to live longer than in 1926.

By then, male life expectancy was 72.3 and a 65 year old could expect to live for 13.4 years. Female life expectancy was 77.9 and a 65 year old could expect to live another 17.1 years.

As more people are living longer, older people are becoming a bigger proportion of the population and this is having a knock-on effect on pensions.

If we look at a

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Wednesday, 30th October 2013

LABOUR TD for Waterford, Ciara Conway, has welcomed the provision in the Finance Bill published today for the immediate introduction of the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme as announced in Budget 2014.

"I am hopeful the new relief will incentivise homeowners to spend money on their own home by offering them a tax break of 13.5% of the cost of the project.

"If the queries to my office over the past week are anything to go by, then I think there are a lot of people who will avail of this initiative to carry out home improvements. This can range from the installation of new windows and doors to a new kitchen. Essentially any improvement works carried out by a registered contractor subject to the 13.5% VAT rate are covered.

"This is not just good news for households, but also for builders and contractors

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Wednesday, 30th October 2013

Cllr John Cummins, Mayor of Waterford, has welcomed the announcement by Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, that Eishtec – an outsourced contact centre company set up in the city in 2010 – are to create an additional 250 jobs with 150 of these in Waterford and the remainder in Wexford. The new positions will take Eishtec’s headcount in Waterford to 600, making it one of the city’s largest employers.

Formed by three local entrepreneurs who had previously worked together in the sector, Eishtec has grown rapidly from having nine employees as recently as May 2011.

Welcoming their latest expansion, Cllr Cummins said: "Eishtec is a great example of an indigenous Irish company identifying a market opportunity, responding nimbly to that with the support of Enterprise Ireland and creating a very substantial business that provides employment to hundreds of

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Wednesday, 23rd October 2013

John Smiles, Qualified Financial Advisor

How will the Personal Insolvency Act impact on Pensions?

The Personal Insolvency Act, 2012 introduced three alternatives to bankruptcy for insolvent persons.

Those arrangements are:

- Debt Relief Notice [DRN], a 3-year arrangement for unsecured debts below €20,000.

- Debt Settlement Notice [DSA], a 5-year arrangement for all unsecured debt.

- Personal Insolvency Arrangement [PIA], a 6-year arrangement for unsecured debt and secured debt up to ?3 million.

Persons entering such arrangements are entitled to deduct 'reasonable living expenses' from their income in determining how much they can afford to repay their creditors.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland has published guidelines on its website and it seems that while 'savings and life assurance' payments are allowed, it is unlikely that discretionary pension contributions will be allowed for the duration of the arrangement. There appears to be no explicit prohibition on employer pension contributions

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Wednesday, 23rd October 2013

Budget 2014 Mostly Positive for Business - Increase in Pension Levy Counter

Productive - Waterford Chamber

Waterford Chambers has welcomed the majority of pro-business measures announced as part of Budget 2014.

Commenting on the budget, Nora Widger, President of Waterford Chamber, said "This budget has been one of the most positive for business in recent years and we are glad that the Government has accepted that recovery will be achieved through job creation and support for business."

"Measures that the Chamber Network has consistently campaigned for such as the Home Renovation Tax Incentive Scheme and the maintenance of the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector will have a direct impact on job creation. Businesses will also benefit from the increase in the cash receipts threshold for VAT to €2m, Capital Gains Tax Relief for certain entrepreneurs and the removal of restrictions on the

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Wednesday, 16th October 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What is the US debt ceiling?

American and global financial markets are again staring at the abyss of default due to the failure of US politicians to agree a new budget which has closed down some government services. The failure to increase the amount of money the US government can borrow – the debt ceiling, threatens to cause the US to default on its debt.

The debt ceiling was introduced in 1917 during the First World War. At the start of the war the US was neutral and it was only when a number of US ships were torpedoed by German submarines that they became involved on the side of the British, French and Russians. Wars cost money and generally are not budgeted for. The President, Woodrow Wilson had to continuously go to Congress to get permission to raise

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Wednesday, 16th October 2013

O2 has selected ten small business customers from around the country and devoted the window of their local O2 stores to promote those businesses. Hillary Murphy's image will be on display in The O2 Store in Waterford until the end of October.

Customers will be entered into the competition to have Brian O'Driscoll appear in their very own ad when they sign up to O2's new €50 Small Business Bundle. The competition is supported by national and regional radio promotion, which starts today.

Commenting on the launch of the competition, O2's Head of Brand and Sponsorship Rita Kirwan, said: "This is a great opportunity for O2 to really get behind small businesses in a meaningful way: using our shop fronts and our partnership with Brian to promote the products and services of our small business customers."

O2's new Small Business Bundle offers fixed

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Wednesday, 9th October 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What is the US debt ceiling?

American and global financial markets are again staring at the abyss of default due to the failure of US politicians to agree a new budget which has closed down some government services. The failure to increase the amount of money the US government can borrow – the debt ceiling, threatens to cause the US to default on its debt.

The debt ceiling was introduced in 1917 during the First World War. At the start of the war the US was neutral and it was only when a number of US ships were torpedoed by German submarines that they became involved on the side of the British, French and Russians. Wars cost money and generally are not budgeted for. The President, Woodrow Wilson had to continuously go to Congress to get permission to raise

Read More »

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Letters to the Editor

  • Editorial

    No More Cuts?Both the Ministers for Health and Education, Leo Varadkar and Jan O' Sullivan, have come out and said this weekend quite emphatically that they will not stand for any cuts when it comes to the new budget that the Government is set to announce later this autumn.  It is good to see that both of these new ministers are so quick off the mark in stating their intentions but how they will be able to manage their preferred outcomes will be interesting to see.  Health and Education are huge Ministrie …

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