Omens positive for 2015

Pearse Kenney, Senior Tax Manager with HC Financial Advisers Ltd

The omens for 2015 are positive overall and conditions now appear to be in place for a period of sustained growth, writes Pearse Kenney, Senior Tax Manager, HC Financial Advisers

January can often be the cruelest month. Christmas becomes a distant memory and the anxiety that January can bring (or “Janxiety” as it has now been termed) soon replaces the seasonal cheer. The previous month’s excess manifests itself in credit card bills and the wait for the first pay day of the year can feel interminable. But thankfully, that general feeling of malaise soon passes. As January turns into February and the “stretch” begins to return to the evenings, a sense of optimism starts to develop.

The Civilising Role of Arts and Culture

Hannah Kiely, CEO, HC Financial Advisers

If you have passed through Heathrow Terminal 2 you will see “Slipstream”, the sculpture by the artist Richard Wilson which twists and turns in simulation of a small airplane as it moves through space performing a series of acrobatic manoeuvres.  The engineers point out that the sculpture harkens back to earlier artistic studies in motion, such as those by photographer Edward Muybridge in the late 19th century.   It is not the economic benefit of tourists and Britain’s creative image that makes this special, but the fact that it is exciting, and redolent of past flying achievements and of manufacturing expertise.  And isn’t this one of the reason why public and private investments in the arts is done for the inherent value of culture: life enhancing, entertaining, and defining of our personal and national identities.

Budget 2015 - so what next?

Pearse Kenney – Senior Tax Manager with HC Financial Advisers Ltd Economists, academics and think tanks will continue to offer well considered advice only to see it roundly ignored by those tasked to implement the policies, writes Pearse Kenney In the lead-up to Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, a White House official mentioned in a briefing to the US President that the then Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-Lai was a keen student of French history. During the visit, Nixon and Chou walked the gardens of the Prime Minister’s residence.

Naughty or Nice

Hannah Kiely, CEO, HC Financial Advisers Limited

Which have you been this year?  I hope a little bit of both.  Let’s look back on the year and see who makes which list?

The Naughty List

The Banking Inquiry opened in December and was told that the Irish Government took the safe option when it came to the bail out with Peter Nyberg saying  that “It doesn’t mean they partied but means the boom and bubble made them feel their lives were better.”  He also referred to “real estate Mania”.  And that “Ignorance rather than criminality were to blame”.

It leaks water everywhere

Hannah Kiely, CEO, HC Financial Advisers

On the face of it, the recent protests are about water charges, but it is more about people being tired of being made to pay all the time, writes Hannah Kiely, CEO HC Financial Advisers

Proverb – something is not working properly

A week is a long time in politics and, by the time your read this, we may well have a happy population regarding water charges, but that is unlikely.

Budget 2015-Thankful for small mercies?

Pearse Kenney – Senior Tax Manager with HC Financial Advisers Ltd

After 7 years of austerity Budgets it made a welcome change to anticipate last week’s Budget without a sense of dread, as had been the case with Budget day since Ireland’s economic nosedive at the end of the last decade.

In the weeks leading up to the Budget, Government ministers, buoyed by strong economic data and improving Exchequer returns, signalled that Budget 2015 would begin the process of income tax reductions and increased welfare spending over the next few years.

Pay your fair share of tax... and no more

Pearse Kenney – Senior Tax Manager with HC Financial Advisers Ltd

Get the sneaking feeling you are paying too much tax? You may well be, says Pearse Kenney

Exchequer returns for the first nine months of the year, which revealed that the State has taken in over €700 million more than had been expected at the start of the year, were  greeted with much back slapping around the Government benches. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance variously laid claim that the results were testament to the Government’s sound economic stewardship since it came to power. Somewhat conveniently they ignored the fact that, when all is said and done, they have merely carried out the policies started by the previous incumbents as dictated to by the Troika.

The Irish economy bounces back

Pearse Kenney – Senior Tax Manager with HC Financial Advisers Ltd

With the Irish economy on the up, next month’s budget is as good a time as any to start saying thanks…

The news that the Irish economy is growing at its fastest rate since 2007 was warmly welcomed in all quarters over the last week. Figures published by the Central Statistics Office showed that the economy grew by 1.5 per cent between April and June of 2014 and by 7.7 per cent when compared with the same period in 2013.

Time to level the playing field

Pearse Kenney – Senior Tax Manager with HC Financial Advisers Ltd

Sport is never too far from the collective Irish consciousness, but it is at this time of the year when it seems all the more pervasive. The conclusion of the All-Ireland series in both codes dovetails neatly with, amongst others, the start of the English Football Premiership and Rugby Season, swelling the column inches with tales of hope and expectation, victory and loss, joy and despair.