Oct 22, 2013

LPT - Property Tax for 2014

Property Tax for 2014 will soon be due for payment by hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland.

Yes - you're probably thinking I've got my dates mixed up - but it's true. The 2014 liability date for the LPT is Nov 1st 2013.
The tax is due by Jan 1st 2014 - but for the majority of people who paid by debit card or credit card  or cheque - the payment will need to be made in November 2013. That's a full years payment for 2014 before Christmas 2013 !. They moved the Budget - and retailers hoped that would help boost the Christmas shopping sales - but now the extra cost of the LPT will mean the Christmas retail spending could be way down this year.

What happens if I don't pay on time ?
. You will get a reminder sometime in the first few months of 2014. There are no penalties for late payment - just for non payment - and Revenue will give you chance to respond to reminders.
They have the option to dedcut the LPT from wages / pensions - so they might do that after a few months if you still haven't paid up.

You may as well set up a direct debit - it will then be spread over 2014 in smaller even payments which won't be such a shock to you bank balance just befor Christmas.

See the dates and more details about the Property Tax Due in 2014 Here

Sep 3, 2013

Budget 2014 On the Way

Irish people have had 3 years of Austerity Budgets - with cuts in welfare, increases in taxation and loss of public services.  The 2014 Budget is going to be the last one under the EU/IMF bailout program - and we can expect more of the same stuff.  It is expected that another €3.1 billion will be found by making more cuts in spending, more cuts in welfare and more increases to taxation.

In previous budgets - pensioners have been protected from cuts to the state pension - whilst childbenefit has been cut along with most other welfare payments.  With negative inflation in recent years - it could be argued that the state pension is due to be cut - but will the government be able to cope with a pensioner backlash?

The Budget date is Oct 15th this year instead of December - this is to fit in with EU timetables. The leaks and  rumours will be flying about all over the place in September as the politicians try to scaremonger the population.  By "leaking" false cuts or tax increases - the ploy is to get the general public to feel relieved when they find out the reality is a smaller cut or tax increase. It happens every year.

Later in 2014 we will have the new water charges in Ireland - which could average out at €300 to €400 a house. On top of the property tax - this coul be the final straw for many people. Emigration might become more popular.

Online Shopping is Growing in Ireland

Spending on online shopping by Irish shoppers hit  €1.4 billion in 2012 and is predicted to rise to €2.8 billion by 2018. 
A report by Mintel also found that 35 per cent of people in Ireland had shopped online in the previous three-month period, ( The UK figure was 65%) .
Overall in Europe , online shopping is probably still in its infancy, with ecommerce sales not exceeding 10 per cent in any of the markets examined.
The proportion of all sales generated online in Ireland is curently about 4.3 per cent. That is estimated to rise to 4.9 per cent by the end of this year, before reaching 7.6 per cent by 2018. Compared with the UK, where 2018 will see online shopping account for 15.2 per cent of all sales by 2018.

Ignoring travel - most online shopping purchases in Ireland are clothes and sports goods, with books, magazines and elearning materials also popular.

More on this site which is a directory of Online Shops that Deliver to Ireland

Jun 29, 2013

Numbers of People Moving to Ireland

The latest figures on people moving to Ireland show that about 52700 people moved to Ireland from overseas in 2012. These numbers are about one third of the numbers that moved here in 2007 .

Nationalities of people moving to Ireland in 2012
People with Irish nationality made up the biggest percentage of "immigrants" - with 20600 returning in 2012.
People moving to Ireland from the UK  totalled 2200.
There were 7200 people from the  the EU original countries  ( Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Portugal )

10400 people from the rest of the EU  moved here in 2012 ( Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania)

People moving to Ireland from other countries in the world such as the US , China , Africa -  totalled  12400 in 2012.

Overall the population of Ireland is still increasing - although there are still thousands of people leaving Ireland too.
Many of the immigrants move to Ireland because of jobs. With many of the big online companies based in Ireland - there is big demand for IT skills and language skills . Google, Facebook, Ebay and Amazon are just some of the companies that have offices in Dublin where they employ thousands of people.

A recent article on the top reasons for moving to Ireland reported that work was the main reason for Moving to Ireland.

EU citizens are free to live and work in Ireland without visas or work permits.  People from outside the EU will need a green card (work permit) to enable them to move to Ireland and work here.
Most jobs with salaries over €60,000 are eligible for green cards.
There is a shortage of some skills in Ireland - so workers with these skills will qualify for green cards even if the salary is under €60,000

These are the areas of skill shortages in Ireland
ICT : Computer systems managers; Computer analysts; Computer programmers; Database administrators/architects; Business process specialists; Messaging and communications specialists; IT architects; IT security specialists; IT project managers;  Data analysts; Web developers ; IT network specialists;; Software engineers and software developers (all languages including JAVA); Application and computer testers; Application developers; Computer gaming developers and designers; Cloud computing specialists; IT legal specialists including IT contract specialists; Localisation specialists; IT intellectual property specialists; IT-enabled education specialists; IT foreign markets specialists and UI/UX engineers.

Health  Registered nurses, Medical practitioners,  Pharmacists/Pharmacologists , Dentists, Clinical nursing managers and advanced nursing practitioners , Dieticians, Orthoptists, Medical scientists, ECG technicians, Neurophysiological measurement technicians, Cardiac catheterisation technicians, Vascular technicians, Respiratory technicians, GI function technicians, Audiologists, Biochemists, Medical radiographers

Professional engineers and technologists : Electrical engineers; Chemical and formulation engineers/analysts (including with active pharmaceutical ingredients background); Design and development; Network, Validation, Product development; Planning; Process and quality control; Regulation engineers; Industrial hygiene engineers; Telecommunications validation engineers; Manufacturing instrumentation and control technicians; Electronics engineering/Applied physicists. All sectors Researchers and natural scientists Researchers, Chemists, Natural scientists, Biological and Microbiologists, Physicists and Material scientists and Bio-pharmaceutical R & D project managers

Business and financial professionals -
Chartered and certified accountants, Actuaries, Management consultants, Business analysts, Compliance specialists, Risk analysts/specialists, Tax experts, Legal experts

These are the jobs that are not eligible for a green card - regardless of wages.

All Clerical and Administrative Jobs
All General Operatives/Labourers ; All Operator and Production Staff ; All Domestic Workers (including Carers in the Home and Childminders)* All Work Riders (Horse Racing);

All retail sales vacancies,  ; All drivers including HGV
Nursery / Crèche Workers, Child Minder/ Nanny
All Hotel and Catering jobs (except chefs.)
Bricklayers, Cabinet Makers, Carpenters/ Joiners, Carton Makesr, Fitters - Construction Plant, Electrician, Instrumentation Craftsperson, Fitter, Tiler - Floor / Wall, Mechanic - Heavy Vehicles, Instrumentation Craftsperson, Metal Fabricator, Painter And Decorator, Plumber, Printer, Engineer - Refrigeration, Sheet Metal Worker, Tool Maker, Vehicle Body Repairer, Plasterers and Welders .

Apr 4, 2013

Household Budgets and Living Costs in Ireland 2013

People are always interested in the Cost of Living in Ireland - especially if they are planning on Moving to Ireland.
There has been some recent publicity in Ireland about some new Guidelines on  Reasonable Living Expenses that are due to be published by the Insolvency Service. These guidelines are aimed at people who are planning on looking for debt relief (getting debts written off)  . To be accepted for debt relief your income has to be below a a certain level AFTER reasonable living expenses.

The figures aren't published yet - but they will probably be similar to the figures poduced by the Vincentian Partnership - which did some work looking at income levels required in Ireland to maintain what they considered to be a minimum essential standard of living. They say that is a standard of living that is based on needs not wants, but it is more than survival.

The figures they use for the weekly spending  for a single adult living in an urban environment are given below - and will be useful for anyone trying to work out the cost of living in Ireland.
The figures do not include spending on accommodation (rent or mortgage). The transport figures assume the use of just public transport (no car) in this example.

Weekly Expenditure -  Single Person  - Total €251.28
( to maintain a minimum essential standard of living. )

Food 57.92
Clothing 10.95€
Personal Care 13.91€
Health 5.12€
Household Goods 6.09€
Household Services 3.46€
Communications 9.51€
Social Inclusion & Participation 38.66€
Education 5.47€
Transport 34.55€
Household Energy 27.95€
Personal Costs 6.42€
Insurance 21.26€
Savings & Contingencies 10.01€

Total 251.28€ 

The weekly budgets were updated  in March 2013  - a

Go Here - To check the latest exchange rates for the Euro -

Mar 24, 2013

Unfinished Estates and the Property Tax

About 1320 unfinished estates containing about 40,000 houses were exempt from the €100 Household Charge in 2012.

The list of  Unfinished Estates that will be exempt from the Property Tax for 2013 until 2016 has been released. There are significantly less properties on the Property Tax list than there were for the Household Charge.  The Dept. of the Environment estimate that there are 5000 exempt properties in 421 estates or developments on the 2013 list .
Read all about the Property Tax in Ireland here .

As well as there being less unfinished estates – this time they have selected specific areas within some estates that they class as being in an unfinished area. So – you could have a road or estate where one end is liable for the property tax while houses at the other end are exempt.

You can see if you live on an exempt estate or development here.

Cavan Unfinished Estates
Clare Unfinished Estates
Cork Unfinished Estates
Donegal Unfinished Estates
Dublin Unfinished Estates
Galway Unfinished Estates
Kerry Unfinished Estates
Kildare Unfinished Estates
Kilkenny Unfinished Estates
Laois Unfinished Estates
Leitrim Unfinished Estates
Limerick Unfinished Estates
Longford Unfinished Estates
Louth Unfinished Estates
Mayo Unfinished Estates
Offaly Unfinished Estates
Roscommon Unfinished Estates
Sligo Unfinished Estates

Mar 8, 2013

Top Reasons for Moving to Ireland

A 2013 survey of about  140 IT professionals who have moved to Ireland from abroad  found that the thing they most liked about Ireland was the Irish people.  36% of respondents  said that the people was the thing they liked most about Ireland . Job opportunities were also important - with 12.7% saying it was the best thing about Ireland

The top  reason for moving to Ireland  (36%)  was the availability of greater job opportunities.
The second most popular reason was family or relationship ties (23%),
Third was learning English or educational factors (21%)

54.9%  of respondents either agreed or slightly agreed that Ireland is a great location for job opportunities.

Working in Ireland seems to enable a good work-life balance, with 82.68pc of respondents either strongly or slightly agreeing with this idea.

55.77pc of respondents strongly agreed that the pace of life in Ireland compared to other countries they had been in is more relaxed.

Mar 2, 2013

Sky Broadband Ireland Prices

Sky - better known for it's satellite television - began offering telephone and broadband in Ireland in the Spring of 2013.  Sky don't provide broadband via their satellite dishes - it is provided down the same phone lines that Eircom use.
There is no need to get a dish installed  if you don't want Sky TV - all you need is an Eircom compatible phone line.
You don't need to sign up for Sky TV to get their phone or broadband. The prices are competitive - and they are one of the cheapest for unlimited downloads. You can get broadband with no limits on data and free off peak calls to landlines for €45 a month.  A similar deal from Eircom currently costs €60 a month

sky broadband ireland sky.ie


Sky Broadband Prices in Ireland

Sky Broadband Unlimited – €55 per month with sky talk freetime (Free offpeak calls) (€45 for the first 12 months)

Sky Broadband Unlimited – €62.50 per month with sky talk anytime (free anytime calls) (€52.50 for the first 12 months)

 You can sign up to Sky Ireland Online here

Sky Talk Anytime includes free calls to landlines in Ireland 24 hours a day 7 days a week - and also includes free calls to landlines in 20 other countries . Great if you have family living abroad.
The countries included in the deal are :   Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA (also includes free calls to mobiles in Canada and USA)
 If you want to sign up for a triple bundle of TV , Phone and Broadband - Sky Ireland are doing some good deals with discounts for up to 12 months. See some of the Sky deals at Switcher.ie