ITAA Statement On Cancellation Of Ryanair Flights

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has expressed strong concern over the cancellation of flights by Ryanair at short notice.   Cormac Meehan, President of the ITAA, said, ‘Given the dominant position of Ryanair in the Irish aviation market place, this action has caused severe problems for thousands of travellers travelling to and from Ireland. For […]

Quarter Of Irish Holiday-Goers Require Medical Attention While Abroad – AA

Almost one in four Irish people have required medical attention while abroad due to an unexpected illness or injury, recent research has found. In response to an AA Travel Insurance survey of over 5,000 Irish holiday-goers, 24.21% of respondents stated that they had required medical attention while abroad on at least one occasion. Meanwhile, a further 27.23% […]

The Donkey Sanctuary Open Day Has Been Cancelled

It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of The Donkey Sanctuary Open Day on Sunday 24th September at Hannigans Farm, Liscarroll, Mallow, Co. Cork. We are so disappointed for our supporters who were looking forward to the event. Due to recent, continuous, heavy rainfall, the fields we use for parking at Hannigans […]

Increased Tax On Motor Fuel Would Damage Ireland – IPIA

The companies who import and distribute petrol and diesel have written to the Minister for Finance urging him resist attempts to increase excise on motor fuels as this would damage our competitiveness and hit rural Ireland particularly hard. The Department of Finance Tax Strategy Group has pointed out that excise rates on petrol and diesel […]

Filmmakers Wanted For Offline 2017 57 Hour Filmmaking Challenge

Think you could make a film in 57 hours? Then prove it at the 2017 OFFline Film Festival which runs from Wednesday October 11th to Sunday October 15th across Birr, Co. Offaly.   Teams of filmmakers will register on Thursday 12th, then shoot and edit their short film in and around the town and surrounding […]

New online platform aims to increase job opportunities for people with disabilities

– Abodoo will make jobs market a “more level playing field” –   Abodoo – an online jobs platform for people who want a career from home –  aims to make the jobs market a “more level playing field” by increasing opportunities for people with disabilities, single parents, older people, and people living in remote […]

Ombudsman For Children Opens Children’s Rights Art exhibition

The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon opened Rights in their Eyes an exhibition of works by the winners of the 63rd Texaco Children’s Art Competition at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. Rights in their Eyes is a collection of works reflecting children’s rights in Ireland as seen by the young artists who range in age from […]

Moneygall went Car-azy for Cannonball

On Sunday September 10th at 4pm, CANNONBALL came back to the Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall where spectators could get up close and personal with 190 of the finest cars on the planet and enjoy the unique festival atmosphere that Cannonball is renowned for.   Over 5000 people flocked to teh barack Obama Plaza to see the […]

Harkin welcomes new EU fund for free local Wi-Fi

Independent MEP Marian Harkin has warmly welcomed the adoption of a proposal in the European Parliament today, Tuesday, September 12th, aimed at providing free access to fast internet in local communities. She said: “The ‘WIFI4EU’ proposal establishes a scheme offering free WIFI connections in spaces where public services are offered, such as public administrations, libraries and hospitals as […]

Regional Housing Crisis May Continue Until At Least 2021 – CIFThe CIF met with the Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe and Minister for State in the Department of Finance Michael D’arcy earlier today to chart a way past blockages in the supply of critical residential, specialist buildings and infrastructure. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) presented radical initiatives to increase investment in infrastructure and to establish a small builders fund to put the construction industry on a sustainable footing and to prevent the boom/bust volatility in the sector. CIF’s analysis, supported by DKM consultants and Construction Information Services, shows that putting these policies in place will enable regional builders to deliver the essential housing and infrastructure required to deliver targets in the Government’s jobs, regional development, housing and FDI strategies. Without these measures, economic activity will continue to concentrate in Dublin, resulting in congestion in the capital and economic and social stagnation outside the greater Dublin area. The industry has stated that initiating planning stages for major projects now would enable a quicker turnaround to the benefit of Ireland’s rapidly growing population and economy. This staged investment can be carried out within the limits of the fiscal space. The CIF repeated its request that the Government utilise measures available to increase the fiscal space such as the structural reform clause. Regional Director, Conor O’Connell said: “Minister Donohoe has a firm grasp of the issues we’re facing in the industry and the knock-on impacts on housing supply, homelessness, regional imbalances, social inequality and increasing house prices. Within the constraints faced, the Minister has delivered a number of key initiatives such as the help to buy scheme and the local infrastructure fund to move housebuilding forwards. In private residential, in Dublin mainly, we have seen these measure lead to an estimated 20% increase in output. It’s not enough to meet demand but it’s a significant step. The trick is now to develop initiatives to increase output across the housing spectrum including social and affordable. We’ve confidence that Minister Donohoe is approaching these issues in a pragmatic way. We suggested the Government establish a National Infrastructure Commission with responsibility for analysing the long-term infrastructural needs of the Irish economy and society, which will depoliticise infrastructure policy. DKM’s analysis showed only €350million available for new construction of infrastructure up to 2019. All stakeholders now believe that the Government has capacity to invest more to the benefit of the economy and long-term job creation. Ireland is currently last of the EU27 in terms of this type of investment, spending less than 2% of GDP on infrastructure. We must increase the rate of investment to 4% of GDP over the period 2018-2021.” According to the CIF, the commencement of planned contributions of €500 million per annum to the ‘Rainy Day Fund’ in 2019 should be redirected to investment in infrastructure for the period to 2021. The CIF is also calling on the government to retain The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme, a significant contributor to the recent growth in residential construction activity. “Private residential housing output has grown by 45% nationally over the past few years. So, measures put in place in this area are making a difference. The HTP scheme has had a supply side impact on the first-time buyer market – with housebuilders again now able to acquire funding for building traditional starter homes. The recent statements about the abolition of the HTB scheme are unhelpful and are reducing confidence of lenders to provide development finance to builders for this type of housebuilding. If starter homes aren’t being built, first time buyers continue to rent, live at home, or enter the second home market. The problems we are seeing in terms of homelessness, increasing rents and social housing waiting lists all stem from this overall lack of supply. House-price inflation is being driven primarily by an overall scarcity of supply and within the second-hand home market. An early withdrawal of this scheme would have a detrimental impact on confidence and the ability of house builders to maintain and increase their residential building programmes.” The document also recommends that the government provide a fund for small builders who cannot access finance for viable construction projects Regional Director, Conor O’Connell said; “As it becomes viable to build houses outside the urban centres, small builders will not be in position to secure finance. Currently, traditional sources of finance such as the banks are not able to lend to these regional SMEs, often 3rd generation family businesses, to deliver the relatively small housing projects required to replenish the stock of towns outside the greater Dublin region. How can we build a balanced regional economy if small housebuilders cannot access finance outside Dublin? This issue has the potential to derail the Government’s housing strategy and its ambitions for regional development. The fund would only apply to builders where there is real demand and traditional sources of finance are not available.” The CIF also contends that the government should amend the 7-Year Capital Gains Tax Exemption, which encourages the retention of property with no incentive to develop the land purchased during the relevant period and is also calling for the immediate restoration of a 100% tax deduction of the interest expense incurred on loans to acquire/ develop residential property for rental purposes.

The CIF met with the Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe and Minister for State in the Department of Finance Michael D’arcy earlier today to chart a way past blockages in the supply of critical residential, specialist buildings and infrastructure. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) presented radical initiatives to increase investment in infrastructure and to establish […]

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