Apr 28, 2005

Plenty of Work in Ireland


IRELAND will have more that two million people in paid employment by the end of the year, according to the Small Firms Association (SFA).

The SFA’s 11th National Employment Survey indicates that 49% of firms have vacancies and that the sector will create a record 61,003 jobs this year up 60% from the 36,283 jobs created in 2004.

SFA director Pat Delaney said the results confirm that the prospects for employment are strong and that the small business sector continues to be the fulcrum of employment creation.

Mr Delaney said the results confirm that employment prospects are more positive than last year and the general outlook for the Irish economy remains favourable.

“On these projections the economy has a lot to look forward to. For the first time in our history Ireland will soon have in excess of two million people at work.

“However, we must be vigilant and ensure that we maintain existing jobs. If we create over 60,003 new jobs, we must also ensure that we do not lose 23,372 as we did last year, Mr Delaney said.

In 2004 the economy shed 450 jobs every week, he added.

Mr Delaney believes the results are a further demonstration that given an economic environment committed to low inflation, low taxes and low interest rates, small business will respond by creating jobs and boosting economic growth.

“These figures put the economy back in the halcyon days of 2000 when 64,000 jobs were created. In 2004 36,131 new jobs were created while the corresponding figure in 2003 was just 17,420. The survey shows that although the labour market is tighter, with 75% of companies reporting difficulties in filling vacancies. This is not increasing pressure on wage rates as 62% of companies have increased pay rates to attract new staff, down from 64% in 2004 and 66% in 2003,” he said.

The SFA also expect redundancy figures to fall this year, with just 3% of manufacturing companies expecting to make staff redundant, down from 12% in 2004.

Mr Delaney said just 6% of companies state that they will place employees on shorter working weeks or have short term lay-offs over the coming year. However, the retail sector shows the greatest exposure in this area at 10%.

“Of those sectors with vacancies, the services sector has the highest demand at 57%. All sectors through manufacturing, distribution, retail and services, reported increased vacancies over the previous year.

“The demand for skilled labour among respondents has increased to 25% of companies in 2005, up from 21% in 2004. However, lack of skills was cited by 46% of respondents as a difficulty in filling vacancies. Demand for general operatives has increased slightly to 14% from 13% in 2004,”

Do as we say - not as we do!


TD (member of the Dail) - arrested for driving drunk the wrong way up a dual carriageway.

See full story http://www.examiner.ie/pport/web/ireland/Full_Story/did-sg2HWRdt-FCuIsglO-LCk0lQvU.asp

No wonder many people in Ireland think drinking and driving is OK - look at the example they are set by the people who make the rules!

Apr 27, 2005

Ireland the dirtiest place in Europe?

From Reuters
" Ireland is flouting European Union rules by turning a blind eye to waste dumping, the EU's highest court ruled on Tuesday, in the latest broadside on the country's poor environmental record.

"Irish authorities have tolerated unauthorised activities in numerous places in Ireland, often over long periods," the European Court of Justice said in a statement. "Such a failure to fulfil obligations is general and persistent in nature."
The country, which this year topped an EU list of environmental offenders, is in breach of a 20-year-old directive requiring states to dispose of waste without risking public health or the environment for not regulating landfill sites properly.

"The permit procedure was slow, taking 808 days on average and sometimes almost four years, and there was a lack of appropriate measures for ensuring that facilities were promptly made subject to the domestic system finally set up," the court said.

The European Commission received a dozen complaints between 1997 and 2000 before filing a general complaint in 2001 that Ireland was failing to enforce the law.

The ruling follows news this month that the EU executive will also take Ireland to court over bad smells from sewage plants, including a state-of-the-art treatment works in Dublin where foul odours have attracted widespread media coverage.

The Commission is also upset with the country's failure to properly assess the damage being done to its environment. It has said it will send the government a warning letter for not complying with a ruling on substances that harm the ozone.

Ireland started 2005 at the top of an EU black-list of countries facing legal action over environmental offences after the European Commission said it would have to answer eight charges including breaches of water and air pollution rules.

Apr 24, 2005

Studying for a degree costs less in Ireland

Studying for a degree costs less in Ireland - Sunday Times - Times Online

This report today in the Sunday Times - reveals that attending University in Ireland - because of the low fees is one of the cheapest places in Europe.
If you are resident in Ireland for at least 2 years - you may also qualify for a grant of up to 1800 euro for anapproved third level course. Student grants were abolished in the UK a few years ago.

Apr 18, 2005

Irish Health Service in a bit of a state.

The newspapers and TV here in Ireland are full of stories about the lack of hospital beds all over the country. Nurses have been demonstrating about it - and continue to do so. The problem seems to affect the emergency admissions - with patients having to lie on trolleys in the assesment area for days sometimes. Today there was talk of opening up a military hospital to the general public. There are private hospitals here - but they only deal with the profitable side of things - not emergencys and casualty. There should be enough money in the system to cope - but it seems like the managers can't get their act together to sort it out.

Apr 2, 2005

Irish Times Article - Ireland's quality of life suffers as its wealth rises

Irish Times Article - Ireland's quality of life suffers as its wealth rises

Another year another survey. The central statistics office has just released a set of figures for 2004.
The Irish economy is still performing very well - but 21% of the population are at "risk of poverty". So it looks like all that extra money is not being shared out. It's the same as most western countries - the rich get richer and the poor don't. There is certainly money around - the property building boom still goes on - and looks like it will for a few years to come.