Budget 2015 - What’s in store?

While there is now light at the end of the tunnel, tough choices still have to be made in Budget 2015

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money,” so said the US Republican Senator Everett Dirksen, formerly of Illinois, when lamenting what he saw as excessive Government spending and the negative impact it was having on the Federal Budget in 1960s America.

Show Respect?

By Pearse Kenney, Senior Tax Manager, HC Financial Advisers

The publication of the mid-year Exchequer figures last week yielded plenty of positive comment about how well the economy was performing. And indeed with the figures showing a reduction in the deficit to just under €5 Billion in the first half of the year (representing a €1.7 billion improvement on last year) and tax revenues €500 million ahead of target there was much to be positive about.

A dismaying manifestation of Jargon!

Do you every touch base, or shift a paradigm, or even leverage or have core competencies?  Well if you do, you are joining the growing “moving parts” of the vertical ecosystem of jargon that has become such a part of our lives.  Have we become part of the aggressive mediocrity of adhocracy working on an assignment capsule at the end of the day that allows us to micro manage the cadence of our jargon basement?  What on earth did I just say?

Don’t forget your shovel

“Don’t forget your shovel, if you want to go to work!” sang Christy Moore many moons ago. Is it now time to revive this anthem again?

We have heard so much talk recently about the need to restart a serious building programme in Ireland. We have heard a lot about homelessness and the crisis therein and we have heard about the required numbers of units urgently needed in Dublin and across the country.

I was driving a lot in different parts of Ireland over the last two weeks for some reason whilst listening to the radio debates about the housing crisis. I was again always amazed at the spectacular buildings around the country lying empty. Am I missing something?

Digital detox

Burnout is not conducive to being creative and making the sharpest decisions, writes Hannah Kiely in this week’s Money Matters column

Are you like me? Do you insist on one last glimpse at the screen before you go to bed? Do you then find that you are unable to sleep? Well it seems we are not by any means alone.

Arianna Huffington, who grew ‘The Huffington Postinto a $300m media giant, has just published her new book Thrive’, which argues that factors such as wellbeing, intuition and empathy should rank as highly as bank balances and impact in society and business.

Run for cover

Yes, we all need protection at times in our lives and quite often we don’t realise how much we need it until it is too late. The protection I am talking about is life cover or life assurance/insurance.

Insurance began as a way of reducing the risk to traders, as early as 2000 BC in China and 1750 BC in Babylon. An early form of life insurance dates to Ancient Rome, when “burial clubs” covered the cost of members’ funeral expenses and assisted survivors financially.

A bit on the side

This time it’s personal! There are so many of us caught in the middle, being squeezed, squashed and tormented, that it is time we stood up and screamed for help. I am talking about the middle range tax payers and workers, private and public, who are caught in the middle of this current economic situation. I am talking about those who earn between €25k and €250k. Yeah, that is rather broad, but it is relevant.

Those below this range have a support system in place, and rightly so, backed up by the government in the form of allowances, no direct taxes to pay, generally, and benefits in place across a range of services. (I am speaking generally.) Those above this range are very wealthy, generally, and perhaps for the purpose of this article can I say okay?

Inspiring Change

With the Local Elections approaching, we can all inspire change by electing more women, writes Hannah Kiely

International Women’s Day is on 8 March. So what, you might ask? I always feel this is a good day to look at our lot, and what has changed in the sisterhood. This year the theme of International Women’s Day is ‘Inspiring Change’.

There have been many positive gains in terms of women’s equality, but the world of women still remains very unequal. Under this year’s theme, we are being asked to challenge the status quo in women’s equality and seek corporate initiatives for women’s advancement.  What does that mean and how can this happen on a practical level? In 2012, the European Parliament’s 2013 theme was ‘Equal pay for work of equal value’. Has this had an impact? And how do we assess it?

Water, Water everywhere and not a drip

Water, Water everywhere and not a drip
Hannah Kiely, CEO, HC Financial Advisers Limited

We are up to our neck in in, it is coming in everywhere, flooding, seepages, breaches, and now they talk of regulation. We are trying to control the use of water, we are to meter it, but we cannot control water in so many part of the country.
Water is a chemical compound with the chemical formula H2O. It covers 71% of the Earth’s surface, and is vital for all known forms of life. Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms, and while access to it has improved considerable, it is estimated that by 2025 more than half the world’s population will be facing water-based vulnerability.

Oscar on the Razz

Oscar on the Razz
By Pearse Kenney, Senior Tax Manager, HC Financial Advisers

During the heady days of the “Giveaway Budgets” in the middle of the last decade, one commentator was oft heard refer to Budget Day as “Oscar Night for accountants”, giddy as they’d become, pouring through the text for the latest series of tax cuts and incentives. Latterly, to extend the analogy, it might have been more appropriate to compare Budget Day to the Oscar’s less auspicious relation, “The Razzies”, as one Austerity Budget followed another.