Business Irish

Wednesday 13 December 2017

The business week in 60 seconds with Sarah Stack

Government set to clean up as some tap-tax details released

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan

THE looming cost of water hit home this week when Environment Minister Phil Hogan finally released some figures.

With a bath set to cost you 16c, and a shower (admittedly a power shower) setting you back 25c, the Government is likely to clean up.

Householders are to be hit with an average €240 tap tax every year – after a free allocation of 30,000 litres – and the figure could rise to at least €350 in homes where an adult child still lives with their parents.

It won't be long before homeowners are echoing disgruntled business bosses, who have been complaining about crippling rates and charges for years. (See Louise McBride, Page 10)

MORAN'S RESIGNATION A SHOCK

ONE of the biggest shocks of the week was John Moran's resignation as secretary general of the Department of Finance, only pipped by Justice Minister Alan Shatter's departure.

The former juice bar owner was the first 'outsider' ever appointed to the top job in the Department of Finance, and was seen as a close ally to his minister, Michael Noonan.

But before he left, he promised that Irish hopes of getting a reduction on our bank-debt borrowings remain alive.

"We have not allowed the language to drop off the table; it is still very much alive from our perspective," the senior public servant told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

(See Shane Ross column)

EU ACCUSED OF 'BULLYING' TACTICS

A PROMINENT former adviser to the president of the European Commission (EC) also hit the headlines when he called the EU's treatment of Ireland throughout the financial crisis as "outrageous".

Philippe Legrain – who was personally head-hunted by Commission president, Manuel Barroso, in 2011 to advise him on economic strategy – gave a damning condemnation of what he said amounted to "bullying" by the EU.

But the EC later hit back and rejected his assertions.

"These remarks reflect the views of a former temporary staff member who sadly chose not to contribute any useful or practicable input to the crisis response," it scorned.

(See Richard Curran column)

INTEREST RATES SET TO FALL AGAIN

GOOD news for Ireland's 375,000 homeowners on a tracker mortgage, but maybe not for those on variable mortgages and anybody with savings.

Interest rates are expected to fall even further across the Eurozone next month, despite already being at historic lows. Economists are predicting there could be a new cut in rates in early June, following broad hints from the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi.

DUBLIN WEB SUMMIT RECRUITING

EVERYONE who's anyone will be scanning their contact books and LinkedIn connections in a bid to push the right people in the direction of the Dublin Web Summit.

The summit is looking to recruit 40 new people and is prepared to pay up to €10,000 for anyone who refers a person who is eventually hired by the group. Positions include data scientist, iOS engineers, sales and head of partnerships.

Founders Paddy Cosgrave, David Kelly and Daire Hickey, who already have a workforce of over 50, say they are facing difficulties in identifying "high-quality graduates" for the jobs.

Sunday Indo Business

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