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SIMI president says introduction of ‘split year’ registration has been crucial



SIMI President, James Brooks.

The motor industry in Ireland has been told to look to the future with renewed confidence, with sales of both new and second-hand cars picking up, helped in no small part by the introduction of the new ‘split year’ registration plate.

Speaking at the Society of the Irish Motor Industry’s annual dinner in Dublin last Friday night, society president, James Brookes, said that consumer confidence, coupled with the availability of finance, has given a lift for the industry.

Stating that the Industry had turned a corner, he acknowledged that the second registration plate was a contributing factor which now gives the Industry a second sales peak each year. He thanked all involved in delivering this better system. He also noted the Industry’s work in areas such as End of life Vehicles (ELVES) the structural repair of vehicles (CSS) and Commercial Vehicle Testing (VTN).

Commenting on the increase in passenger car sales – up 32% so far this year – and Light commercial vehicles sales, which are up 70%, Mr Brooks noted that consumers are starting to spend again.

However registrations in the HGV market are off to a slow start for a variety of reasons, amongst which, the implementation of a new type approval processes is slowing down registrations, and this is a cause for concern. It is hoped that additional resources will be delivered urgently to solve the current situation as quickly as possible, he said.

He also complimented the Road Safety Authority for its work in relation to the standards of vehicles on our roads and underlined how crucial this is.

“Last year, 51% of cars failed their NCT test, only 30% of cars fail their first NCT at four year’s old but at nine years old, almost 70% fail. Almost 700,000 cars failed the NCT last year so at any point in time a significant number of cars on the road are likely to be unsafe,” he said.

He suggested that it should be illegal to sell tyres below a minimum tread depth and the same should apply to those on used cars being sold, no matter who is selling it. It would also make sense to require a new full NCT Cert at the point when a used car is of being sold to a new owner. He emphasised that SIMI is committed to working with the RSA in relation to such safety projects.

“The Industry itself has an obligation to do something to help improve the safety of older cars on our roads. We have all been touched by the consequences of fatal accidents, it’s not about business; it’s about saving lives,” he said.


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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Connacht Tribune

Galway call-out with entries now open for Guaranteed Irish Business Awards



Pictured at the launch of the Guaranteed Irish Business Awards are Patrick Farrell,Retail Banking Director, Permanent TSB; Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson; broadcaster Anton Savage, and Christina Conlon, Marketing Manager, Guaranteed Irish.

Guaranteed Irish has announced the launch of the 2023 Guaranteed Irish Business Awards, celebrating the best of locally based businesses in recognition of their contribution to business in the country.

The Awards – back after their inaugural year – aim to put the spotlight on local businesses that have made a commitment to support local jobs and contribute to local communities across the country.

The event, which will be MCed by broadcaster Anton Savage, will take place at an awards luncheon in The Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday, March 14 2023.

“Guaranteed Irish has been supporting businesses in Ireland for almost 50 years and is recognised as the national symbol for trust in business and provenance,” explained Brid O’Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish.

“It’s important to celebrate the best of homegrown businesses as well as firms that have chosen to operate locally here in Ireland. Through the Guaranteed Irish licensed symbol, consumers identify businesses that build local supply chains, support local jobs, and embrace sustainable business practices.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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