News Archives - Page 5 of 526 - Pat Carroll PCCO - Chartered Accountants & Tax Advisors

Corporation tax take in August down over €1bn on last year

The amount of corporation tax collected in August was over a billion euro less than the amount taken in the same month last year.

In a statement, the Department of Finance said ‘a sharp decline’ had been expected but the 36% drop was ‘somewhat higher than anticipated.’

In August last year, the public finances received a surprise boost in corporation tax.

This year, the volatile nature of corporation tax swung the other way.

The Department of Finance said the drop in corporation tax last month compared to the same time last year underlined ‘the exceptional volatility in this tax head.’

For the year to the end of August, however, the amount of corporation tax collected is still up €864 million or 7.3% compared to the same period last year.

Income tax is still performing strongly, up €1.6 billion or 8.2%, in the period to the end of August.

VAT receipts are up €1.4 billion just over 11% in the eight months to the end of last month.

Overall, the Exchequer was in deficit at the end of August to the tune of €300 million.

This compares to a surplus of €6.3 billion at this point last year, but also includes a transfer earlier this year of €4 billion to the National Reserve Fund.

Peter Vale, Tax Partner at Grant Thornton Ireland described the exchequer tax receipts for August as “surprisingly poor”, with the biggest drop in corporation tax.

“Given the strength of the corporation tax receipts in the critical month of June, this was a surprise and underlines the volatility in corporation tax receipts,” he said.

Mr Vale said the weak corporation tax figures also reflect our dependence on a very small number of companies for a significant portion of corporation tax revenues.

“Poor results for one large company can have a significant adverse impact on overall corporation tax revenues,” he added.

After today’s figures, Mr Vale said the risk of weaker corporation tax receipts in the key month of November increases.

“Poor November figures could erode much of this year’s planned Budget surplus,” he said.

Article Source: Corporation tax take in August down over €1bn on last year – Robert Shortt – RTE

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Study reveals stress and financial woes facing workers

Many employees are increasingly feeling cash-strapped as inflation continues to impact their ability to spend, according to a survey of Irish workers by PwC.

The proportion of the Irish respondents who said that they are able to pay all the bills and have money left over for savings, holidays etc at the end of the month has fallen to 35% from 40% last year.

The 2023 Hopes and Fears Workforce survey details the attitudes and behaviours of 1,000 Irish workers and nearly 54,000 global workers in 46 countries.

It reveals that nearly one in ten now work in multiple jobs, with the majority doing so because they need additional income.

It also found that the economic squeeze is driving up pay demands, with 38% of Irish workers planning to ask for a pay rise, up from 32% last year.

“With 23% of workers feeling their workload unmanageable, additionally navigating societal, political and economic instability places a significant mental and emotional strain on workers’ health and wellbeing,” said Laoise Mullane, Director, PwC Ireland, Workforce.

“Burnout should be a concern for organisations and efforts should be made to support employees in taking proactive steps to address this.”

She added that there is an opportunity for organisations to transform their total reward offerings, with the aim of enhancing total wellness.

“By aligning reward offerings to physical, emotional, mental, social, career and financial wellness that can be tailored to the needs of each individual, organisations can attract and retain the talent they need now and in the future,” she said.

Employees are not on board for transformation

Leaders continue to guide their organisations through extremely turbulent times, but necessary organisational reinvention and transformation efforts will fail without the cohesive support and energy of all employees, PwC said.

One in five (20%) of Irish respondents are of the view that if their employer continues on its current path, their organisation will not be in business in ten years time.

This compares with a global figure of 31%.

The report finds that if organisations are to navigate complex and ever-evolving external challenges, leaders must reevaluate their strategies and transform their organisations.

The survey reveals that workers are more likely to leave in the next 12 months if they believe that their company won’t survive a decade without transforming.

The survey indicates that talent retention continues to be a major challenge. Over one in five (22%) Irish workers confirmed that they will change jobs in the next 12 months, up slightly from 21% last year. This compares with 26% globally this year, and 19% last year.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of Irish respondents said that they are struggling to pay or cannot pay the bills, up from 11% last year. Only 36% feel that they are fairly financially rewarded for the work they do in comparison to 42% globally.

At the same time, 23% said that they are overworked which is similar to the global figure of 22%.

The survey also highlights that 62% of Irish employees work in a hybrid model, up from 43% last year. Globally, 54% of employees work in a hybrid model.

An opportunity to unlock talent through a skills-first approach

The survey highlights that the skills needed for the future could be sitting within the organisation, but these skills are not being used or not known to leadership, according to PwC.

It highlights a disconnect between the employer and employee understanding of the skills needed in the future. Worryingly, only 26% of responding Irish workers agreed that the skills needed to succeed in their job will significantly change over the next five years.

PwC said it is great to see that over half of those surveyed proactively seek new opportunities to develop skills. With workers eager and willing to learn new skills, leaders should take the opportunity to invest in their people and build the skills needed to succeed.

At the same time, only 53% of Irish respondents are confident that their employer will provide them with the required tools, resources and opportunities to build the skills required in the future with global counterparts doing more.

Less than half feel that their employer provides them with the opportunity to apply the skills that they already possess. Over a third (37%) have skills that are not clear from their CVs, job history or job titles indicating that companies may be overlooking talent.

The most important skills in the next five years, according to Irish respondents, are adaptability/flexibility (75%), critical thinking (72%), collaborative skills (69%) and leadership skills (64%).

Only 30% of the Irish workforce see strengthening their green skills over the next five years to be of real importance, 9% lower than the global average.

Gerard McDonough, Partner, PwC Ireland, Workforce, said “Organisations have the opportunity to move to a skills-first approach and unlock the potential of their existing talent. And with workers eager and willing to learn new skills, leaders should take the opportunity to invest in their people and build the skills needed to succeed.

“Leadership is needed now more than ever to retain talent, while also recruiting those with the human skills necessary to weather any storm. Business leaders must listen to their people today if they are to create a viable workforce of the future, for tomorrow.”

Artificial Intelligence

The survey highlights mixed views on the impact of AI on future careers, with 29% of workers saying they do not think AI will impact their job over the next five years.

At the same time, they also appreciate the benefits of AI technology, with 20% stating that it will create opportunities to learn valuable new skills and 22% saying that AI will help increase their productivity and efficiency at work. .

However, one in ten said that AI will replace their role altogether in the next 5 years. Just 16% said that AI will create new job opportunities for them.

Globally, the survey reveals stark demographic disparities in employee attitudes towards AI. Younger generations are much more likely to expect AI to impact their careers across all of the surveyed impacts, both positive and negative, whereas a little over one-third of Baby Boomers think AI will not impact their careers, only 14% of Gen Z and 17% of Millennials agree.

Mr McDonough said, “In a world where generative AI is here, business leaders have a way to go to increase the awareness and understanding of the impact transformative technologies will have on their workforce. This starts with leaders themselves having a clear view of the impacts and the skills needed for the future of work and communicating this in a meaningful way.”

“Where business leaders know they need to transform their businesses to succeed, they need to combine the benefits of technology with a plan to unlock the talents of all workers. Workers are optimistic, they are willing to learn the skills needed, leaders need to engage and empower them.”

Article Source: Study reveals stress and financial woes facing workers – Petula Martyn – RTE

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Activity in Ireland’s service sector continues to grow

The latest Purchasing Managers Index from AIB marks two and a half years of successive monthly improvement in business activity, new business and employment.

The report states that demand in the sector continued to bolster these increases.

The index dropped slightly to 55, down from 56.7 in July and 56.8 in June.

Readings above 50 indicate overall growth in activity.

“The continued robust performance by the Irish services sector reflects ongoing healthy demand conditions,” said Oliver Mangan, AIB Chief Economist.

“This was evidenced by another strong increase in new business volumes at Irish services firms from both domestic and export customers, though their rate of growth has slowed in recent months.

“Employment continued to increase at a solid pace, picking up from July, while there was a further significant rise in the level of outstanding work,” he added.

The flash services PMIs fell into contraction territory in August in the Eurozone and UK, with the indices declining below the 50 level to 48.3 and 48.7, respectively.

Meanwhile, the US index slipped back to 51 in August.

There were variations in the growth in business activity across the four sub-sectors covered in the survey.

“Technology, Media, Telecoms saw buoyant growth, while Transport, Tourism, Leisure contracted for a second consecutive month,” Mr Mangan said.

“Meanwhile, firms across the four services sectors remained very optimistic about their expectations for activity levels over the next 12 months,” he added.

Today’s data shows that inflationary pressures remained elevated in the services sector against the backdrop of an on-going strong expansion in activity.

“Input prices continued to experience significant upward pressure, most notably from rising labour costs and fuel bills,” Mr Mangan said.

“Higher operating costs continued to be passed on in higher selling prices. That said, the rate of increase in both input and output prices has eased considerably in recent months,” he added.

Article Source: Activity in Ireland’s service sector continues to grow – Gill Stedman – RTE

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Economy sees growth of 0.5% in second quarter – CSO

The economy continued to grow in the second three months of the year, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Measured by GDP, which includes the activities of multinationals, the economy grew by 0.5% compared to the first quarter of the year.

Modified Domestic Demand, which excludes some of the activities of multinationals and gives a better picture of what is happening in the domestic economy, grew by 1%.

However, on an annual basis, the economy measured by GDP shrank slightly by 0.7%, today’s CSO figures show.

When measured by Modified Domestic Demand, it declined by 0.3% in the second quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Irish economic numbers are often volatile due to the outsize presence of multinationals in sectors like IT and pharmaceuticals.

Today’s CSO figures show that in the second three months of this year, there was a fall in exports across the multinational sector. This may reflect a slowdown in global markets.

But, just to confuse the picture, there was strong increase in industrial output. So, it may be that multinationals were stockpiling in the second quarter and exports may recover later in the year.

Back at home, there was an increase in spending by consumers which helped buoy the domestic economy.

However, output in construction fell by just over 2%, which may reflect increased costs in the industry.

Despite an increase compared to the first quarter, both GDP and Modified Domestic Demand fell compared to the same quarter a year ago; an indication perhaps that the economy is settling down to a more moderate pace of growth.

Commenting on today’s figures, Finance Minister Michael McGrath said that as has been well documented, multinational production in Ireland is extremely volatile.

Given the outsized role the multinational sector plays in the economy, GDP is clearly not a useful measure of domestic living standards, he stated.

He said he was encouraged to see that Modified Domestic Demand (MDD) – his preferred metric of domestic economic activity – grew at a solid pace in the second quarter of the year.

“These data are consistent with trends in the labour market, where figures published last week show employment at its highest level ever at end-June,” he said.

He also noted that consumer spending was a key driver of growth in the second quarter, increasing by 0.9% over the quarter.

He said this reflects a number of factors including the easing in inflationary pressures over recent months, the strength of the labour market and the role that Government support has played in supporting households.

“With three-quarters of our working age population in employment – a record high – this should support continued expansion of consumer spending in the coming quarters,” the Minister said.

He also said that while today’s data confirm continued growth in the domestic economy, he was conscious of several headwinds.

“Our economy is clearly operating at full-employment and capacity constraints, in both our housing and labour markets, are increasingly binding. Externally, growth is slowing in some of our main trading partners, and this could have knock-on implications for Irish exports,” he added.

Article Source: Economy sees growth of 0.5% in second quarter – CSO – Robert Shortt – RTE

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Deposit rates finally rise but ‘the devil is in the detail’

When the banks published their half year results in the early part of last month, it was clear that pressure was going to mount on them to improve the returns that they have been offering depositors.

All of the main lenders reported bumper profits for the half year with interest income and interest margins looking very healthy indeed.

That came on the back of the series of interest rate increases announced by the European Central Bank since July of last year.

Although the banks hadn’t passed the full extent of the rate hikes on to their non-tracker mortgage products, they had passed even less of the cumulative increases on to those with deposits.

Criticism mounted from campaigners and politicians with the Finance Minister and the Minister for Further Education among those calling on the banks to pass on the benefit of rate increases to those with deposits.

And the deposits are indeed substantial with households squirreling away a collective €150 billion, according to the latest figures, most of it generating little or no return.

In fact, the value of the money has been eroding steadily in the current inflationary environment.

Why have the banks been so slow to pass rate hikes on to depositors?

In truth, because they don’t really have to.

Banks offer a return on deposits because the money is generally valuable to them in that they can lend some of it out and that which they don’t have to hold in reserve they can put on deposit with the Central Bank where they are now earning 3.75% (the ECB deposit rate).

Here, depositors crammed money into deposit accounts when rates were at rock bottom. In other words, the banks don’t really have to incentivise us to put money into accounts.

In fact, for a period of several years, it was costing the banks to hold deposits because they were being charged by the Central Bank for parking excess cash in the era of negative interest rates.

To their credit, the banks held off from passing those negative rates on to most customers.

Only very large-scale depositors, like high-net-worth individuals and businesses, were latterly charged negative rates.

That is likely part of the explanation for the inertia in passing improved deposit rates on to savers now.

So, what has happened?

In the past week, all three of the main banks as well as the National Treasury Management Agency, which runs the State Savings products, announced that they were hiking the rates that they offer depositors.

Returns of up to 3% per year – for a defined savings period – are being made available on certain products.

Each of the products have their own conditions and limits attached, but generally the developments are to be welcomed.

It is important to note, however, that because the banks are increasing deposit rates, it doesn’t automatically transfer to all savings and deposit accounts.

Regular deposit and current accounts – which around 98% of depositors have money sitting in – are still generating scant returns.

If consumers want to take advantage of these products, they have to seek them out and, in some circumstances, they will have to be willing to put their money away for a period of time to get the full benefit.

Bank of Ireland

Strangely, the one lender that doesn’t have a state shareholding was first out of the traps with an improved deposit rate offering.

Bank of Ireland announced a headline grabbing 3% rate on its SuperSaver Account.

This account allows the depositor to save up to €2,500 a month.

The 3% rate applies for the first 12 months, after which a rate of 2% will apply on balances up to €30,000.

It is also increasing to 2% the interest available on its Mortgage Saver accounts on balances up to €15,000.

A rate of 0.5% will apply on balances above €15,000 and there is bonus interest of €2,000 if the customer draws down a Bank of Ireland first-time buyer mortgage within 30 months of opening the account.

The bank is also increasing to 2% the interest rate applicable to its Regular Saver accounts on balances of up to €12,000, with a rate of 0.5% applying to balances above that amount.

Permanent TSB

In the early days of the rate hiking cycle, Permanent TSB led the way on deposits here with a fairly respectable offering on its 5-year deposit account.

The other banks have caught up since but not to be left behind, Permanent TSB announced a 3% rate on its three-year and five-year fixed term accounts this week.

A new rate of 2.5% will apply to its Regular Saver products.

The new rate will apply to both the Online Regular Saver and the 21-Day Regular Saver account for balances of up to €50,000.

Permanent TSB said this was the highest limit in the market for Regular Saver products.


On Friday morning, AIB and its subsidiary EBS became the latest movers on deposit rates.

AIB’s online saver account is to offer 3% interest on amounts from €10 to €1,000 per month for 12 months.

Customers can open up to four accounts for ‘different savings needs’, allowing them to earn a rate of 3% on amounts up to €48,000 a year.

However, a rate of 0.25% will apply after the monthly threshold is reached on each account.

The bank also announced changes to its fixed term deposit products with rates of up to 3% on its 2-year term deposit accounts, which must have a minimum balance of €15,000.

EBS’s Family Saver rate of 3% will apply to monthly savings of between €100 and €1,000 for the first year. A rate of 1.25% will apply from year 2 onwards.

State Savings

Hot on the heels of AIB came the NTMA with its enhanced rate offering on the State Savings products.

From the start of October, the Three-year Savings Bond will offer a return of 4%, the Five-Year Savings Certificate will go to 9%, the six-year to 10% and the 10-Year National Solidarity Bond rate will go from 16% to 22%.

The variable rate on the State Savings deposit account will increase from 0.05% to 0.75%.

As the State Savings Schemes are priced over the lifetime of the products, they have to be broken down to their AER, or Annual Equivalent Rate, in order to provide a direct comparison with the banks.

The three-year product translates to an AER of 1.32%, the five-year to 1.74%, the six-year offers 1.75% annually and the ten-year, around 2%.

The State Savings Bonds are free from DIRT (Deposit Interest Retention Tax), which is levied at a rate of 33% on the interest gained in the banks, making the state products slightly more valuable when the tax element is taken into account.

Which is the best product?

Each undoubtedly offers a more attractive rate of return than has been offered up to now, but it’s up to consumers to seek out these products if they aren’t already depositing money in such accounts.

As regards their attractiveness, it’s swing and roundabouts really.

“The devil is in the detail,” Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications with said of the recent moves.

For example, although Permanent TSB offers the highest limit on the market for its Regular Saver products, for those with amounts over €50,000, the rate of return drops considerably to 0.01%.

Similarly, AIB and Bank of Ireland’s rate offerings drop back – but not by as much – once thresholds are breached, but the thresholds are lower.

And with the State Savings Schemes, although the headline rates are lower, the tax-free element of those products has to be factored in too, as Robert Whelan, Managing Director of Rockwell Financial pointed out.

“If you’re getting 2.5% on the state savings, it’s the same as getting up to 3.7% in the banks,” he explained, pointing to the DIRT-free nature of those products.

However, he said he believed there was still scope for better returns on the state savings.

“They’re the best when you consider them net of DIRT, but in order to get the better return, you have to leave them in for longer. The 10-year rate needs to be improved,” he said, citing the current inflationary environment.

“Inflation risk is not something we’ve had to think about for 20 years. We’ve had pretty stable inflation, but now it’s real. If you’re getting 2% interest and inflation is at 3%, you’re losing money,” he explained.

Applying that to the over €140 billion of deposits sitting in banks last year when the inflation rate was running at close to 6%, he calculates that over €8 billion has effectively been ‘sucked out of the economy’ in real terms when the erosion of spending power of that money is factored in.

Are mortgage rates likely to go higher now?

That is the danger with the move to pressure banks into providing better returns to depositors.

Asked about their apparent inertia in passing higher rates of return on to depositors at the recent reporting season, the banks responded that they had to strike a balance between what they charge mortgage holders and that which they offer to depositors.

The implication of that is that if the balance is tilted towards one side of the equation, it will have to be balanced on the other side.

Daragh Cassidy said it might be a case of ‘careful what we wish for’.

“Higher deposit rates could be at the expense of higher mortgage rates for first-time buyers,” he pointed out.

“It’s likely Bank of Ireland will announce a hike to its mortgage rates over the coming weeks – though it has to be said its fixed mortgage rates in particular are very low given where ECB rates are right now,” he suggested.

Robert Whelan agreed that mortgage rates were likely to go up further in any case, as long as the European Central Bank doesn’t cut rates in the coming months.

“The banks got a lot of money from the markets when it was cheap and it was sitting there and they’re using some of that now to offer competitive rates, but as soon as that is used up, rates will go higher,” he explained.

Are deposit rates likely to go higher again?

Probably, but some of that may be down to the fact that the ECB continues to raise interest rates, which may not be a welcome development for most.

As deposits – which soared to historic highs during the pandemic – are gradually wound down as people loosen the purse strings, or simply dip into their savings to get them through higher living costs, deposits will inevitably become more attractive and valuable to banks, and they may start paying more for those funds.

It will probably be some time before we see any further significant moves from the banks.

And that may be largely down to the lack of competition in the market. There is no sign of a challenger coming into the market to put it up to the main lenders on the borrowing or savings fronts.

Can I do better with my spare cash?

It’s recommended that anyone should have at least three to six months of living expenses set aside as a form of ‘rainy day fund’ to cope with unexpected expenses or unforeseen events, like the loss of a job.

Beyond that, people should be looking at making their money work either with term deposit accounts that offer some kind of return or with investments.

For those who may still not be happy with the rates of return on offer from the Irish banks, they can look further afield and seek better returns from banks in Europe.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe – who is currently President of the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers – said it would not be ‘unpatriotic’ for people to move their money abroad and they were free to do so if they were unhappy with what was available in the Irish market.

There are websites that provide prospective depositors with a menu of interest rates elsewhere in Europe and they will also act as a brokerage.

One such site – Raisin – publishes a weekly update on the best rates available across Europe.

Latvian bank, BlueOr, where deposits of up to €100,000 are protected under the Latvian Deposit Protection Fund, was this week offering rates of up to 4.2% on its 12-month deposit account.

“Signing up is relatively simple and only requires one online registration,” Daragh Cassidy explains.

“From there, customers can easily choose from numerous savings accounts from banks all over Europe and manage their accounts entirely online too.”

Alternatively, there’s the option of putting money towards retirement. Pensions are one of the most tax-efficient means of saving.

There is no tax on contributions up to a certain limit and savings grow tax-free.

Article Source: Deposit rates finally rise but ‘the devil is in the detail’ – Brian Finn – RTE

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‘Concerning gaps’ in pension coverage – CCPC

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has said that research it has carried out into pensions has revealed some concerning gaps in retirement planning.

The survey of 757 people showed that one-in-ten 45-64 year olds do not have a pension.

Pension ownership among the 45-54 age group stands at 76%, a sharp decline since 2022, when 85% of this group had a pension.

The study showed that one-in-four of those without a pension say they cannot afford to start one.

Some 64% of respondents said they have a pension and 69% said they would be happy to pay into a compulsory pension scheme.

Auto-enrolment, where a pension is automatically set up and deducted from wages or salary once an individual starts paid employment, is due to be introduced in Ireland in 2024.

The research shows strong support for auto-enrolment across age groups, with 79% of under 25s – the group least likely to already have a pension – saying they would be happy to pay into a compulsory pension scheme.

“It’s very positive that two-thirds have started a pension, and that number will grow once auto-enrolment is introduced,” said Grainne Griffin, CCPC Director of Communications.

“However, it’s important that people don’t see their pension as a box to tick and forget about – you need to make sure your pension is enough to fund the retirement you want.

“Reviewing your pension can also save you money. Especially if you have an older pension, you may be paying much higher charges than needed, so it’s a good idea to check your pension now and question any charges.”

Article Source: ‘Concerning gaps’ in pension coverage – CCPC – Brian O’Donovan – RTE

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NTMA to increase State Savings interest rates

The National Treasury Management Agency said it is increasing the rates that apply to new fixed term and variable rate State Savings products.

It also said it will almost treble the Prize Bond fund on offer to holders of Prize Bonds to €48m.

All new interest rate changes and the new Prize Bond fund structure will be effective from October 1, 2023 it added.

State Savings is the brand name used to describe the range of Irish Government savings products offered by the NTMA to personal savers. It offers fixed-term fixed-rate savings products, Prize Bonds and deposit accounts.

State Savings have no fees or transaction charges when lodgements and withdrawals are made and the State Savings Fixed Term Products are also tax free savings products.

The NTMA said the total tax free return on the new fixed rate State Savings products will see the 3-Year Savings Bond increase from 1% to 4%, while the 5-Year Savings Certificate from rise from 5% to 9%.

Its 6-Year Instalment Savings from go up from 5.5% to 10% and the 10-Year National Solidarity Bond from increase from 16% to 22%.

The NTMA also said the variable rate used to calculate the total prize fund is increasing from 0.35% to 1% of the total value of Prize Bonds, while the prize fund is almost trebling in size and prizes remain tax free.

Under the new prize structure, a top monthly prize of €500,000 will be offered, in the last weekly draw of every calendar month, compared to the previous top monthly prize of €250,000.

A top weekly prize of €50,000 will be available in every weekly draw from October 1, while each week there will be 20 prizes of €1,000 and 20 prizes of €500, compared to 10 prizes of €1,000 and 10 prizes of €500.

The remaining weekly prize fund will be awarded in €75 prizes, which is an increase in the previous minimum prize of €50.

Overall, the number of prizes is expected to double to half a million a year, the NTMA said.

The total value of State Savings holdings stood at €24.9 billion at the end of July.

Dave McEvoy, NTMA Director of Funding and Debt Management, said that in setting interest rates on State Savings, the NTMA seeks a balance between providing customers with a savings option and providing long-term value to the Exchequer in terms of managing the cost of borrowing.

“Rates are subject to ongoing review and take account of a number of factors, which include the wider interest rate environment, the strength of the State’s fiscal and funding position, and competitive developments in the retail savings market,” he added.

The Minister for Finance Michael McGrath welcomed today’s news from the NTMA.

“It has been widely discussed that the interest rate environment has changed significantly over the last 12-18 months, and I welcome today’s announcement by the NTMA to increase rates,” Mr McGrath said.

“This will provide State Savings customers with an increased return on all new fixed-term savings and deposit accounts, along with an increased Prize Fund for Prize Bond holders from 1st October 2023, while also supporting the valuable conduit that State Savings provide for the Irish State to raise funding,” he added.

A full range of the State Savings products are available on the NTMA website.

Article Source – NTMA to increase State Savings interest rates – RTE

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AIB and EBS increase rates on saving accounts

AIB has become the latest bank to increase its interest rates on certain savings products, as well as on EBS saving accounts.

The move comes amid growing calls for the benefit of European Central Bank rate increases to be passed on to savers.

Increased deposit rates of up to 3% for both Regular Savers and AIB Fixed Term accounts were announced today.

AIB said its Online Saver product will now offer a 3% return from €10 to €1,000 a month for 12 months.

It is also increasing all of its Fixed Term deposit rates for personal and business customers.

Its two year Term Deposit account will rise to 3%, its one year Term Deposit account increase to 2.5% and its six month Term Deposit account increase to 1.5%.

The bank’s Junior and Student Saver rates and the EBS Family Savings rate are increasing to 3%, and the EBS Children & Teens Savings rates are increasing to 2.5%.

Meanwhile, the interest rate on its Online Notice 7 Deposit account is increasing to 0.75%, with the AIB Demand Deposit account and EBS Instant Access account rates increasing to 0.25%.

AIB said its Fixed Rate changes will be available from September 12, with all other rate changes available from September 19.

AIB’s Head of Products Elaine Downey said the bank was pleased to announce another increase on the returns to AIB and EBS savers across Regular Saver, AIB Fixed Term and Demand deposit products benefiting all of its deposit customers.

“We encourage all customers to review our savings and deposit offerings to see how they can earn more on their savings,” she added.

Earlier this week, both Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland announced a series of rate changes to their suite of deposit products.

Article Source – AIB and EBS increase rates on saving accounts – RTE

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Motorists facing hike in petrol and diesel prices

Motorists are facing a hike in the cost of refuelling their vehicles from midnight tonight, as excise rates are increased by the Government.

Petrol excise rates will increase by 7c per litre while diesel prices will rise by 5c. Agricultural diesel will go up by 1c.

It is the second of three increases in excise, to unwind a reduction brought in March 2022 to combat soaring prices in the wake of the Russian war in Ukraine.

While the excise increases from midnight, price rises at all pumps will not be immediate.

That is because the excise is charged on wholesale supplies of fuel, and it may be days for many forecourts to sell their existing fuel stock, purchased at the lower excise rate.

On the other hand, some forecourts with high turnovers purchase wholesale supplies every day, and in those cases retail prices will increase almost immediately.

Why are petrol and diesel prices going up?

The increases come despite a number of calls on the Government not to go ahead with them or at least postpone them until next year.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said this increase and the final one due on 31 October should be scrapped.

“We need action now to help struggling Irish families facing an ongoing cost of living crisis,” he says.

“With back to school expenses, groceries getting pricier and mortgage rates going up, families are really struggling. Adding fuel tax hikes to this mix is just plain wrong.”

The Irish Farmers’ Association called for the increases to be suspended indefinitely.

Its Farm Business Chair Rose Mary McDonagh said: “I am calling on Minister Michael McGrath to reconsider the timing of this increase in excise duty and announce an indefinite extension immediately.

“At a time of a cost-of-living crisis and stubbornly high inflation, it seems unconscionable the Government would proceed with imposing further taxes on already stretched families.”

Speaking on Tuesday however, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said tonight’s excise increase is already “locked in” and will be going ahead.

However, he added that the final tranche of excise restoration, due in two months’ time, will be kept under review.

If that increase was to go ahead it would add a further 8c to a litre of petrol, 6c more to a litre of diesel and 3.4c to a litre of agri-diesel also known as Marked Gas Oil (MGO).

The excise rates on fuel were cut by the Government in March last year by 21c per litre of petrol, 16c cent for diesel and 5.4c for MGO.

The intent at the time was for the cut to be temporary and for rates to be restored by the end of August.

However the cuts were extended, initially until February this year and then until June with the first step in restoration happening on 1 June. On that date excise on petrol rose by 6c and diesel 5c.

Article Source: Motorists facing hike in petrol and diesel prices – Joe Mag Raollaigh – RTE

Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000

Inflation rises to 4.9% in August – flash estimate

An initial estimate for inflation, measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), shows prices rose by 4.9% in the 12 months to August.

Today’s latest Central Statistics Office figures show that prices rose by 0.5% over the month and the annual rate was higher than the 4.6% recorded in July.

The HICP for the euro area was 5.3% last month.

Energy prices are estimated to have risen by 5.1% over the past 12 months. They are up 3.4% in the past month.

Food prices remained unchanged over the month but are up 7.7% on an annual basis.

Core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, is estimated to have increased by 4.8% over the past 12 months.

Transport costs are estimated to have increased by 0.7% in the month but are down 1.5% on an annual basis.

The flash estimate for the euro area in August will be published by Eurostat tomorrow. It is expected to be watched closely ahead of the ECB’s next interest rate-setting meeting in a fortnight.

HICP allows for comparisons of inflation across the EU. There are some differences between it and the Consumer Price Index, which is the official measures of inflation in Ireland.

One of the biggest differences is the exclusion from the HICP of mortgage interest, which is part of the CPI.

Mortgage interest has risen due to the increases in interest rates by the European Central Bank. Hence, the CPI has been higher than the HICP in recent months.

Article Source: Inflation rises to 4.9% in August – flash estimate – Robert Shortt – RTE

Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000