Nov 30, 2004

Tax Scandal

Business Day:

Some people pay no Tax in Ireland - it just doesn't seem right!
Article from "Business Day"

"Eleven Ireland-based people recently earned over a million euros yet did not pay a single cent in tax, while a mystery 'artist' made 10 million euros and kept the lot. Generous relief provisions under Ireland's tax laws are allowing some of the country's super-rich to bank all of their gross earnings.
With Finance Minister Brian Cowen due to present Ireland's latest annual budget to parliament on Wednesday, revelations about a range of quite legal tax relief deals have been thrust into the political spotlight.
A series of parliamentary questions tabled by opposition MPs have led to disclosures from the country's tax-collecting authority, the Revenue Commissioners, about just how valuable relief is for the very wealthy.
Since the revelations, an opinion poll in one of the country's newspapers showed 74% of voters want Cowen to close off the tax loopholes.
The years of the Celtic Tiger economic boom has resulted in a jump in the numbers of what the tax collectors call 'high wealth individuals'.
In recent years Ireland has been grappling with the scandal of so-called 'legacy' tax problems - widespread illegal evasion dating back decades. But now fortunes are being saved as big earners take advantage of legal loopholes. Artists' earnings are exempt, stallion owners get a free ride on stud fees and there are over 30 other reliefs involving areas like film making, multi-storey car parks, pensions' investment, business expansion, historical homes, holiday cottages and private health clinics.
The most recent year for which Revenue figures are available - an eight month taxable period in 2001 during a transitional switch to calendar taxation - showed 11 people declared earnings of over a million euros without any liability.
Labour finance spokeswoman Joan Burton was outraged when she"

Nov 29, 2004

Profile of Ireland

Ireland Profile: Economy

This useful site gives breakdowns on all sorts of facts and figures about all the nations in the world.

Nov 28, 2004

Even Tony Blair praises Ireland

: "Only Switzerland and Ireland have lower tax burdens in Europe"

Nov 25, 2004

The gain and pain of the Irish boom

An alternative view on Ireland being the best place to live in the world.

"People are happy - but maybe it's because they have low expectations"

The Observer | Focus | The gain and pain of the Irish boom

Nov 21, 2004

The truth of Irish Society - - Do Something About It

This site says it aims to explore the "real truths of modern Irish Society" . It has a few good points to make about some of the problems in Irish Society - mainly the drink culture, high prices and the secondary education system. It has some well written articles and some valid and interesting viewpoints.
The education system gripes are probably valid in many countries.
I think the high prices can be avoided if you shop around - but sometimes there is just no alternative nearby. Alcohol is a popular "pastime" - and alternative social outlets do need to be discovered in rural areas.

Like I said - I will cover the good the bad and the ugly.

You can't please all the people all the time.

Top 40 Singles in Ireland - Charts - Top 40 Singles
The taste of the single buying public is similar to that of the UK - there are only a few Irish acts that would get into the charts here and not in the UK.
US influences are big - as they are in the UK. Globalisation - that's what the big music companies want isn't it?

Crime in Ireland

This website shows the other side of the coin - the bad side.
Crime in Ireland

I know there are plenty of criminals out there and that places like Dublin and Limerick and other larger cities have a big crime problem.
There is corruption in Government - Local and National . But that probably goes on in places like the USa and UK - maybe they are better at hiding it?

I will try to show the good and the bad side of life in Ireland.

Nov 20, 2004

Going across the sea to Ireland

Telegraph | Property | Why we're going across the sea to Ireland: "The Irish republic seems to offer everything that England lacks: low crime, quiet roads, friendly people ? and the best quality of life in the world. No wonder so many English people are relocating there, says Thomas Harding
Ireland, according to a quality of life survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, is the best country in the world in which to live. The English, it seems, didn't need to be told this: already, a small army of them - from London and the South-East, in particular - have upped roots and started new lives in the west of the country.

In Co Kerry: 'it's been a non-stop stream of people, mainly from the south and south-east of England'

Following in the well-heeled footsteps of scores of actors, musicians, writers and film-makers - to whom Ireland gives significant tax breaks - the new ?migr?s ignore sarcastic sniggers from those who point to the grey skies, the corrupt politicians and crumbling moral authority of the Roman Catholic church.
They come to enjoy Ireland's negligible rural crime, its space, excellent education system, open roads and friendly welcome. They leave behind, they say, a country where people barely bother to speak to one another and where children require a constant escort.
While the Irish have enjoyed the benefits of a blossoming economy since the Eighties, they have also, without self-consciousness, retained much of their tradition and culture. In any town, in any part of Ireland, you will find a pub where two or three musicians thump away on hand-drums, fiddles and guitars, heartily singing old songs before getting down to Guinness and the reflective or sparkling conversatio"

Ireland's favourite brands

The top 100 brands in Ireland (by sales figures) are shown here
From Checkout 2004

Product Euro Value Per Million:
1 Coca-Cola 115
2 Avonmore Fresh Milk 92.1
3 Tayto 65.6
4 Birds Eye 60
5 Pampers 59.5
6 Lucozade Energy Total 58.74
7 Premier Milk 57.5
8 UP (Regular) 55.37
9 Denny Prepacked Cooked Sliced Meats 50.5
10 Club Soft Drinks 50.1

11 Cadbury Dairy Milk 48.8
12 Brennans Sliced White Bread 45
13 Goodfellas 43
14 Diet Coke 41.24
15 Dairygold 39.83
16 Lyons Tea 37.9
17 Ballygowan 35.84
18 Danone Actimel 33.19
19 Kit Kat 32.5
20 Barry’s Tea 31.6

21 Pedigree 31.5
22 UP Diet 30.61
23 Yoplait Yogurt 29.76
24 Denny’s Sausages 29.3
25 Persil 29.3
26 Shaws 28.46
27 Donegal Catch 28
28 Sqeez 26.9
29 Denny Rashers 26
30 Galtee Rashers 25.5

31 Lynx 25.46
32 Walkers 25.32
33 Ariel 25.2
34 Lucozade Sport Total 24.43
35 Wrigleys Extra 24.1
36 Erin 23.5
37 Mars 23
38 Gateaux 22.9
39 Muller 22.63
40 HB Originals 22.44

41 Cadburys Roses 22.1
42 Aero 21.9
43 Magnum 21.85
44 Kerrygold 21.5
45 Yoplait Petits Filous 21.5
46 Avonmore Cream 21.3
47 Clairol 21.2
48 Kellogg’s Corn Flakes 21
49 Dolmio 21
50 Hunky Dorys 20.9

51 Nescafe 20.2
52 Cadbury Snack 20
53 Captain Birds Eye 20
54 Maltesers 19.7
55 Mitchelstown Cheese 19.4
56 Pepsi (Regular) 19.28
57 Avonmore Supermilk 19.1
58 Special K 18.7
59 Fanta 18.42
60 Colgate 18

61 Kittensoft 18
62 Avonmore Cheese 17.3
63 King 17.3
64 Volvic 17.22
65 Roma 17.2
66 Whiskas 17.2
67 Cow & Gate 17.1
68 KP Hula Hoops 17
69 Ribena 16.91
70 Batchelors Beans 16.8

71 Cornetto 16.26
72 Dove 16.2
73 Weetabix 16.1
74 Huggies 16
75 Capri Sun 15.9
76 Galtee Snap Packs 15.61
77 Hellmann’s 15.2
78 Surf 15.1
79 Fairy Liquid 15
80 Siucra 15

81 Charleville Cheese 14.8
82 Galaxy 14.6
83 Maxwell House 14.6
84 Bold 14.2
85 Comfort 14.2
86 Dawn 14.13
87 Low Low 14.1
88 Inversoft 14
89 Uncle Ben's 14
90 Chef 13.8

91 Kerry Spring 13.72
92 Red Bull 13.7
93 Shamrock 13.5
94 SMA 13.5
95 Snickers 13.5
96 Tipperary Water 13.46
97 Sprite 13.37
98 Kilmeaden Cheese 13.2
99 Big Al’s 13
100 Ocean Spray 12.85

People living outside Ireland will probably never have heard of many of them - but there are many multinational brands like Coke and Cadburys. But I think it's good to see the Irish home made brands doing well.

Nov 18, 2004

Ireland - the best country to live in - it's official!

New Zealand News - World - Quality of life best in Ireland

Read on over the coming days and weeks for a glimpse into the real Ireland from someone who lives here.
Is it really that good?