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Wednesday, 2nd October 2013

The creation of a universal mortgage insurance model, a mortgage lender's pledge, penalties for those who do not develop city centre sites within a specified period of time and the setting up of a National Property Council are among the recommendations in a pre-Budget submission to Government made by the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers Institute (IPAV).

In the submission, prepared by economist Jim Power, IPAV, which represents 800 auctioneers and estate agents nationwide, says that mortgage lenders are under significant pressure to rebuild profitability, reduce the size of the balance sheet and hold adequate levels of prudential capital. High Loan to Value (LTV) mortgages are much more expensive from a bank's perspective because they are more risky and consequently the banks are forced to hold higher levels of expensive capital.

IPAV is proposing that the creation of a universal mortgage

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Wednesday, 2nd October 2013

30th September - 6th October

This week 30th September - 6th October marks Simon Week nationally, a time to highlight the issue of homelessness and the risk of homelessness in our communities. The harsh reality is that one in three Irish people are concerned about being at risk of homelessness because of difficulties in fulfilling payments or mortgages.

In this, the sixth year of Simon Week, South East Simon Community are urging people to help in responding to the growing pressures by encouraging everyone to show they care by signing our petition.

Lorraine Shute, Acting Operations Manager of South East Simon Community explains the thinking behind the campaign, Home for Good: "This Simon Week, we're asking people to 'Sign the Petition' for Simon, and ask the government not to cut the homeless budget".

If you want make an enormous difference in the lives of

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Wednesday, 2nd October 2013

Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has said the announcement of a reduction in state aid to disadvantaged areas is a bombshell and a snub to the hopes of the South East.

Senator Cullinane was speaking after Minister Richard Bruton appeared at the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Committee.

He said; 'The minister today has dropped a bombshell that state aid supports to the most disadvantaged areas will be reduced. The economic downturn has impacted differentially across the state.

"Areas such as the South East have the highest levels of disadvantage, highest levels of job losses and the lowest rates of investment. The IDA continually fails to meet their own limited region target of having 50% of investment outside of Dublin and Cork.

"This is a snub to the committee's recommendations and the hopes of the South East. It will impact on disadvantaged areas. The minister

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Wednesday, 25th September 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Will Ireland exit its bailout on time?

Ireland’s fiscal progress and Europe’s desire to demonstrate that austerity and structural reform programmes work, should ensure that Ireland becomes the first bailed out nation to exit a programme. The exit is expected on time and in an orderly fashion.

When Ireland exits its current programme, fiscal autonomy will not be fully restored and the Government is likely to apply for two separate post bailout backstop facilities:

- A European Financial Stability Fund ("EFSF") precautionary programme supported by the Eurozone

- Outright Monetary Purchases ("OMT") supported by the European Central Bank ("ECB")

Although recent domestic macro-economic trends have weakened Ireland’s position, the recent pick-up in global growth will, if it continues, ensure that Ireland’s positive progress will be maintained. The vicious circle of weak consumer confidence, poor domestic demand and poor supply of credit still

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Wednesday, 25th September 2013

Over seven in ten Irish consumers (72%) are at risk of being overcharged on their household bills, according to new research from uSwitch.ie. Despite the importance of checking bills carefully for accuracy, a third of consumers (32%) admit that they are unable to work out whether there has been a mistake, while 49% simply trust their supplier to get their bills right. As a result, just 28% know for a fact that they have not been overcharged in the past year:

- 27% of people say that household bills are too complicated, 26% complain about jargon while 21% cannot find the information they need

- Little over half of Irish adults (54%) are able to check electricity or gas bills easily for accuracy – just 49% say the same for their broadband bills

- Just 57% say they are likely to spot an

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Wednesday, 25th September 2013

Locals and visitors alike proved to be wild about the Comeraghs last weekend, enjoying sell-out walks, talks, workshops, music and storytelling events that, in total, confirmed the inaugural Comeraghs Wild Festival to be a resounding success.

Following its official bi-lingual launch at Ballymacarbry Community Centre on Thursday night, Comeraghs Wild Festival went down a storm with many events sold out - a great testament to the interesting and diverse four-day festival programme

More than 300 enthusiasts turned up in Kilmacthomas on Friday night for the Full Moon Trail Run and participants were blessed with a clear and crisp night event. Elsewhere, Culture Night in Dungarvan proved to be just that and more with the participation of festival artists Clare Keegan and Mark Roper at a packed reading at Dungarvan public library. Many of the attendees had come from the Comeraghlicious! dining evening

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Tuesday, 17th September 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Does Financial Advice have a value?

The Professional Insurance Brokers Association in association with Standard Life recently conducted research in Ireland to examine the real benefits of professional financial advice. Similar research has taken place in the UK and Australia and the results are consistent with earlier studies in the UK.

The financial services market has been undergoing a transformation to meet customers' changing needs. Advisers are exploring how advice is delivered and how clients value and pay for it. They are investing in higher qualifcations and are examining how they run their own business to develop a more transparent and flexible structure. Financial advice is becoming much more strategic.

- Advice from a professional can provide reassurance about your financial situation and show the real value of advice. The results of the survey are clear.

- Almost half of Irish adults (48%)

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Tuesday, 17th September 2013

With house prices showing signs of stabilisation and rising in some instances and rents also on the increase, now could be a good time for people to make the switch from renting to owning their home or to trade up to accommodate a growing family.

"There is a growing belief that low interest rates and reduced property prices are providing very good value for homebuyers and people are starting to act on that", says Nora Widger manager of Bank of Ireland Waterford branch. "People who are renting homes are now thinking about buying because it can make financial sense for them to put their money into something that they will own themselves. And in many cases they are finding that mortgage payments on a new home can actually be on a par with the rent on a similar property. For example,

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Tuesday, 17th September 2013

Waterford Sinn Fein City Councillor John Hearne has criticised the increase in gas prices by Bord Gáis.

Speaking following an announcement that Bord Gáis are to increase gas bills by over 2%, Councillor Hearne said:

"As we approach winter this is not good news for those who are already struggling to meet domestic bills.

"The elderly, unemployed, lone parent families and others on the margins are certain to feel the brunt of this price increase.

"Fuel poverty is an issue that must be taken seriously in Ireland and this price increase will do nothing to alleviate the problems that many people face, especially during the winter months.

"It is an issue that the government must take action on and must engage with volunteer and non-profit organisations.

"Government must also tackle the continuously increasing gas prices.

"The price increase does not make sense, especially in a time when

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Wednesday, 11th September 2013

What pocket money should I give my children?

A recent survey from Danske Bank details the spending habits of younger people in Ireland. Commissioned by the bank to coincide with the launch of a new website – http://www.controlyourmoney.ie – which is aimed at improving the financial literacy of Irish children, the research has revealed that 80 per cent of parents give around €27 to their 12-15 year old children every month. Almost 90 per cent of these children spend their money shopping online or on mobile phone credit, and save on average €10 a month.

The research has also revealed that only half of all parents regularly talk to their children to teach them about spending and managing their money. Teaching financial responsibility at a younger age can be extremely beneficial for your children later on. If you have children

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Letters to the Editor

  • Waiting can be bad for your He...

    When the latest statistic that waiting times for patients had risen to their highest level yet, there can't have been too many people that were surprised.There are now over 700.000 people on waiting lists with over 50.000 of them children. That so many people are waiting for treatment in one of the most developed economies in the world is truly frightening. Of course you can take into account the underfunding of the health sector during the economic downturn but it still wouldn't fully explain why so ma …

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