May 31, 2012

Voting in the Fiscal Treaty Referendum

Irish voters face an unenviable choice today. Accepting the EU fiscal compact will force member states to hit tough budget targets, which could mean further pain for Ireland.

But the fiscal compact will also guarantee access to the European Stability Mechanism, Europe's new bailout fund – a financial lifeline to countries who cannot borrow in the debt markets.

Opinion polls have suggested that the Irish electorate will vote YES to the treaty - but it's close and a lot could depend on turn-out! Traditionally anti-European voters are more inclined to get out and vote.

Four opinion polls released over the weekend indicated that around 60% of voters would back the treaty. But a significant number of people have been classed as 'don't knows' in the run-up to today's vote.In 2001 and 2008 the Irish voters defeated first the Nice and then later the Lisbon Treaties on EU reform.

Vote counting won't begin until 9am on Friday morning - and the result will be awaited by all of Europe and beyond ( result should be known by Friday evening )

The nightmare scenario for the government is that ther Irish people decide to give ministers a bloody nose by voting 'no' in the referendum.After four years of austerity measures, some anti-treaty campaigners are predicting the "revenge of the people".

Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein said "I ask Irish citizens not to be bullied, not to give their democratic rights away, not to give up their say over Irish economic policy and not to write austerity into the Constitution."

May 30, 2012

More Companies Choose Ireland for Eu HQ

Four companies are to create 100 jobs in Cork and Dublin a
Games developer Red 5 Studios, human capital management consultancy and technology services firm Aasonn, Van Tibolli Beauty and research firm Qualvu are establishing their European headquarters in the State, bringing new jobs with them.
Red 5 Studios, which is to set up in Cork, will create 30 jobs, recruiting for community management, localisation, and player support teams.
“We needed a place in Europe that was accessible to all sorts of native speakers and all sorts of cultures,” said chief executive Mark Kern.
“Ireland has become this diverse Metropolitan area where people from France and Germany and all over Europe come together. That’s really great for us because we can’t be everywhere in Europe at once, but we can be in Ireland, and by being in Ireland we can tap into all the cultures and all the territories around very readily.”

Inflation Falls in Ireland April 2012

Irish inflation was lower in April 2012 - dropping from 2.2% in March to 1.9% in April
Overall consumer prices were largely unchanged in April, but on an annual basis certain sectors showed large increases, education costs increased by 9.4%, the cost of transport went up 5.7%, largely due to fuel price increases.

 Areas such as clothing ,footwear, furnishings, household equipment and maintenance, are still experiencing price falls . 
The  €100  household charge and the rise in health insurance premiums were the main  factors driving up the cost of miscellaneous goods and services.

On a monthly basis, the cost of miscellaneous goods and services rose 1.3% while food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 0.5%. Over the same period there was a 0.9% fall in the cost of alcoholic beverages and tobacco and a 0.7% fall in transport prices. The monthly decline in transport costs was driven by a 15.1% fall in airline passenger costs.

There was a fall in the cost of games, toys, and hobbies but a rise in the cost of package holidays.

Rents in the private sector declined by 0.9% between March and April but were up 2.4% over 12 months. Local authority rents were unchanged between March and April but are down 3.3% for the year.

May 28, 2012

More Jobs at Amazon in Dublin

Irish Jobs Minister Richard Bruton today welcomed the announcement by Amazon that it is to create over 100 new technology jobs at its Development Centre in Kilmainham, Dublin. The centre is home to a team of engineers and developers  - the new jobs will include support engineers, systems engineers, network engineers, software developers and technical managers.

Amazon set up its Development Centre in Ireland in 2005 and now has hundreds employed at the Development Centre. The decision by Amazon to expand the technology centre illustrates Ireland’s ability to attract high-calibre Foreign Direct Investment and represents a key endorsement by one of the world’s leading companies.

May 9, 2012

Most Popular Cars in Ireland 2012

List of the numbers of  new cars registered in Ireland from Jan to April 2012

Volkswagen were the most popular make of car followed by Ford and Nissan
Audi were in 4th place followed by Renault. The least popular makes of new car were Chevrolet , Subaru, Mitsubishi , Lexus and Suzuki


Ford 1,277
Toyota 1,119
Nissan 970
Audi 893
Renault 887
Hyundai 806
BMW 659
Skoda 628
Opel 596
Peugeot 366
Kia 331
Citroen 288
Seat 288
Other 282
Mercedes-Benz 247
Honda 239
Volvo 225
Vauxhall 223
Mazda 159
Fiat 146
Suzuki 73
Lexus 34
Mitsubishi 25
Subaru 19
Chevrolet 7

Cost of Childcare in Ireland

A survey of childcare providers all over Ireland in 2011  found that the price of childcare can vary quite a lot.

The average cost of childcare for 3 full days a week for a 6 month old was €126 per week
Prices varied from a high of €190 a week  in Dublin 6  to a low of €85  in the Waterford area.

Even within the same area there was big variations in pricing - Dublin 6  showed a difference of €70 a week between the lowest and highest price.

Comparing the cost of childcare for 5 days a week for a 28 month old child:

The overall average price across the country for full time 5 days a week childcare   was €181 per week.
The highest price was  €248 in Dublin  city centre . The lowest price for full time childcare was €130 in Dundalk

Discounts may be offered for  childcare for two siblings attending the same childcare facility .  The discounts offered varied from a nominal fixed sum discount to a percentage discount. The survey found that on average a discount of 7% was offered. With a discount of up to 12% on the combined fee for both children was offered in ons case - so it's worth asking .

Of course price is only one of the relevant factors considered by parents  when choosing a childcare facility. Other considerations may include issues such as location, staff qualifications, the curriculum followed, play amenities, opening hours etc.

May 4, 2012

Average House Prices in Ireland April 2012

House Prices In Ireland  fell further in the year to the end of March 2012 .
According to the Central Statistics Office, house prices fell by an average of 16.3 per cent on an annual basis in March  compared with 17.8 per cent annual drop at the end  of February.
However, on a monthly basis, there was no change compared with February. The last time there was a halt in monthly price declines was August 2010.

In Dublin, overall property prices were 0.7 per cent higher in March compared with February , but remained 18.3 per cent lower than in March 2011. House prices in the capital were 18.4 per cent lower compared to a year earlier, and showed a 0.7 per cent rise month on month. Prices for apartments were 18.9 per cent lower over the year.
Overall, property prices in the capital have fallen 57 per cent from their peak level in early 2007.
Apartments have declined  by 61 per cent, while house prices have lost 55 per cent of their value.
In the rest of the country, residential property prices were 0.6 per cent lower last month, and 15.5 per cent lower over the year. Since the peak of the property market, home prices have fallen by 45 per cent.

Average Property Asking Prices In Ireland - March 2012

1 bed 2 bed  3 bed   4 bed    5 bed
Carlow €89 €123 €148 €239 €288
Cavan €59 €89 €136 €187 €237
Clare €101 €147 €223 €283
Co. Cork €104 €132 €162 €247 €316
Co. Galway €125 €162 €202 €242
Co. Limerick €75 €105 €152 €242 €277
Co. Waterford €101 €179 €259 €305
Cork City €117 €145 €189 €285 €360
Donegal €72 €82 €130 €184 €215
Dublin City Centre €111 €200 €225 na na
Dublin North City €135 €174 €234 €381 €519
Dublin South City €137 €200 €248 €442 €555
Galway City €114 €163 €182 €261 €359
Kerry €93 €127 €176 €237 €287
Kildare €75 €139 €191 €287 €375
Kilkenny €78 €104 €153 €214 €291
Laois €69 €78 €113 €177 €275
Leitrim €70 €117 €181 €160
Limerick City €83 €119 €166 €246 €264
Longford €78 €115 €166 €191
Louth €66 €105 €150 €240 €319
Mayo €86 €111 €139 €195 €227
Meath €116 €127 €171 €271 €371
Monaghan €65 €160 €218 €275
North County Dublin €143 €179 €216 €391 €558
Offaly €84 €109 €131 €194 €283
Roscommon €61 €75 €118 €160 €193
Sligo €70 €101 €132 €193 €225
South County Dublin €189 €256 €342 €548 €673
Tipperary €74 €110 €143 €218 €264
Waterford City €60 €88 €132 €195 €223
West County Dublin €102 €141 €196 €281 €408
Westmeath €100 €105 €137 €195 €240
Wexford €93 €99 €143 €200 €260
Wicklow €143 €187 €213 €325 €465

Irish House Prices  From 2011 Here