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Home renovation scheme should be extended



New figures reveal that the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme has exceeded an estimated €1 billion in works since it was introduced in 2013 – with Galway homeowners investing over €39 million in value.

But the scheme hasn’t been a real success in rural Ireland, with over two-thirds of the spend undertaken in just three counties – Dublin, Cork and Kildare.

It is due to come to an end on New Year’s Eve – but in its pre-budget submission last week, Hardware Association Ireland called on the Government to extend the scheme by 24 months in order to achieve greater penetration and awareness across Ireland, particularly in rural areas.

The Revenue figures reveal that since October 2013, over 65,000 works have been registered with the scheme across more than 45,000 individual properties.

Window replacements, kitchen upgrades and general repairs and renovations top the list of works completed under the scheme.

The majority of properties that registered for HRI are urban-based, with Dublin by far dominating with €560m in total works registered, followed by Cork at €109.5m. The cumulative total tax credits eligible to be claimed to date is €71.85 million.

The Revenue statistics coincide with new research released by HAI – the national representative body for hardware/DIY retailers and builders merchants – which reveals that more than half of all homeowners have not heard about the HRI scheme, with awareness highest (58%) among those aged 50 to 64 in Dublin.

Connacht Tribune

Four Galway firms among Ireland’s Best Managed Companies



The Corrib Oil Group was named among Ireland’s Best Managed Companies at the 14th annual awards programme, led by Deloitte. Pictured were Nikki Canavan, Senior Director, Bank of Ireland, Corrib Oil Group directors Eamonn Dalton and Sean Heaphy, Director, and Brian Murphy, Partner, Deloitte.

Four Galway companies have been awarded Ireland’s Best Managed Companies accolade at the 14th annual awards programme, led by Deloitte in association with Bank of Ireland.

This year, Deloitte recognised 136 indigenous companies at the awards representing 25 of the 32 counties across Ireland. This is the first year where the awards programme returned as an in-person event following the pandemic and culminated with a gala awards ceremony at The Convention Centre Dublin.

Amongst the winning companies this year were SalesSense International ltd and Corrib Oil Group. SalesSense International ltd achieved platinum having won for the seventh consecutive year, while Corrib Oil Group was recognised for the first time. Acorn Life and Collins McNicholas Recruitment were both requalifying winners.

The network of companies chosen has a combined turnover of €13.9 billion providing over 51,000 jobs across Ireland across a range of sectors – from retail and hospitality to manufacturing and construction.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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More than one third of adults have no pension



The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published new research outlining Irish adults’ preparations for their retirement.

The research findings show that a high percentage of consumers do not have any pension plan in place. When asked their reasons for not having a pension in place, 32% stated that they have yet to get around to it, 20% feel they are too young and a further 20% don’t feel they can afford it.

Almost a quarter (23%) of those in the 55-64 years age group – those who may expect to retire in the next decade – reported that they don’t currently have a pension in place. 77% of this age cohort expect to qualify for the State Contributory pension as one way of funding their retirement.

Of the 735 adults who took part in the research, two thirds (66%) stated they would be using the State Contributory pension to help fund their retirement. The research also shows that 32% of those questioned were unaware of the amount of the State Contributory pension payment (currently €253 per week).

Respondents intend to supplement their pension plans with a variety of other forms of retirement funding, including, selling a property (24%), rental income (23%), equity release (15%) and selling a business (14%). One third of those aged 25-34 expect to use funds from the sale of a property or income from a rental property as a source of funding in retirement.

Kevin O’Brien, Member of the CCPC, said: “This research suggests a lack of provision for adequate retirement income among a considerable cohort of Irish adults.

“It raises concerns therefore around the long-term financial well-being of consumers, with 38% having no pension in place.

Of those surveyed, many cite the time to set up a pension or being too young as barriers to making pension provisions.

“Pension planning is key to maintaining financial well-being in retirement and it is evident from this new research that many Irish adults do not have the necessary provisions in place to provide for a secure retirement, despite the significant tax reliefs available on pension contributions.


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Connacht Tribune

Local Ireland welcomes move to 0% VAT for news publishers



Local Ireland, the association representing 32 weekly paid-for newspapers around the country, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to remove VAT on newspapers.

President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said: “This is a very important move for news publishers.

“Zero per cent VAT will allow local newspapers around Ireland to invest in journalism and in the transition to new digital business models.

“News publishers have faced a series of major challenges over recent years, most recently the huge increases in the cost of newsprint. This move will help support jobs in the industry and sustain the quality of our service to readers.

“We very much appreciate this endorsement by Government for the valuable role we play in our communities and the public service content we provide.

“I would like to thank the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and all the Ministers, TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum who have given their support to our campaign to end VAT on journalism.”

Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said: “Local news publishers are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. Along with our national colleagues represented by NewsBrands Ireland, we play a vital role in Ireland’s democracy.

“Today’s decision will protect the future of trusted, professional journalism in Ireland against the tide of global disinformation that threatens to undermine healthy democratic debate and analysis.”




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