Friday 23 February 2018

Max Doyle: Short view

Max Doyle

THE Tories are always a better bet than Labour when it comes to quality gaffes and David Cameron's erstwhile economic adviser Lord Young hasn't disappointed.

Despite being swiftly ushered back into his lordly closet, there is some truth in what he had to say when he remarked that people in the UK have never had it so good because of low mortgage rates.

People with tracker mortgages in the UK and Ireland are the nouveaux riche of the middle classes. To prove this, banks will soon start paying people to come off their trackers -- up to 10 per cent in cash is commercially justifiable to switch.

The other truth is the UK is showing real signs of recovery -- total tax receipts for the past three months are up about 12 per cent compared with 2009.

Vat is also holding steady when adjusted for the 2.5 per cent increase in 2010. This means people are still spending money in the shops despite 500,000 job cuts and social welfare reform.

Being a 5 per cent contributor to the IMF, Mr Cameron's government is likely to partake in any IMF bailout for Ireland, so the UK's economic revival is welcome. But the UK played hard and dirty when it came to funding the IMF's bailout of Iceland. In fact, the UK used the IMF bureau to attempt to link loans to other debts in dispute with Iceland.

Had the UK been successful, Iceland would have been economically doomed. The IMF has shown little appetite for independence of thought and are beholden to their member countries. The Cadburys Schweppes ECJ case was a full assault by the UK on Ireland's corporate tax rate. Let the hostilities commence.

Max Doyle is a principal of Prime Focus Management Ltd, specialising in investment and turnaround of Irish companies

Sunday Independent

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