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Lowest rates of staff absence here

JUST weeks after we were told Irish people had one of the shortest working weeks in the EU, new research claims we have one of the lowest absenteeism rates in Western Europe. Data from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows Irish employees have 6.4 days of unscheduled absence each year. That compares with 10.1 days in the UK and 9.7 days in Western Europe.

VAT cut leads to jump in confidence


THERE has been a surprise rise in financial confidence among consumers. The Standard Life financial confidence index rose in June, probably due to cuts in VAT being seen positively. The index rose to 53.5pc for the end of June, up from a four-year low of 50.9pc in March, Standard Life said.

Association targets 'greedy' companies


GREEDY firms that have failed to pass on the VAT cuts have been accused of subsidising their businesses on the sly. The Irish Association of Pension Funds said the fact not all firms in the tourism and hospitality sector had passed on the VAT cut meant the raid on private pensions to pay for the VAT cut was badly thought out.

Cost of office rent in capital falls by 7pc


THE cost of renting office space in Dublin continued to fall in the last three months, despite a big increase in take-up rates. Real estate firm CB Richard Ellis said yesterday it had revised down the prime headline rates for Dublin offices by nearly 7pc. Office space can now be had in the capital for €323 per square metre, down from €345 three months earlier.

SMEs crippled by rates payments


MANY SME retailers will be unable to pay their rates this year, according to a new ISME survey. Forty per cent said that rates would "threaten their survival", while more than a quarter of all SMEs will not be able to make rates payments this year. ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said: "Rates have a disproportionate effect on small and medium enterprises as they must be paid whether the business is profitable or not."

Irish Independent