Liz O’Donnell: since retiring from politics in 2007 she has worked as an adviser and public affairs consultant

Former minister of state to become director of policy, government affairs and communications with US pharma group

Zara Financien did not pay corporate tax in Ireland, despite having a net income of €53.9 million in the 2011-2014 period, claims European Green Party/EFA  report. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Europe’s Greens/EFA group report highlights methods used by Zara to minimise tax bills

First-time buyers beware: The road won’t always be smooth

Buying a home is one of life’s biggest decisions so prepare for it accordingly

One in every two exporters across the island of Ireland says currency volatility is the key issue they’re facing at the moment. Photograph: iStock

While not without its challenges, the currency’s plummet since the Brexit vote has provided a significant boon to the North’s ex(...)

According to the INMO, the HSE is keen to recruit nurses, but individual hospitals  do not have the budget to pay for more staff or have to restrict staffing levels, meaning most contracts on offer are short-term.

The HSE is hiring again in Ireland, but mostly for short-term positions

Luas on Dublin’s north side:  people looking for access to public transport without hefty house prices could consider buying a property near the end of the new Luas extension. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Property website report reveals the value of rail infrastructure for homeowners

Using OECD figures, the Economist found that the lifetime net benefit of getting a degree in Ireland – compared to not getting one – is some €328,000

‘Economist’ finds university degree is worth more in Ireland than anywhere else in OECD

Could Nama be eyeing up a future sale of its units at the Grange in south Dublin?

Two-beds at the Grange, south Dublin, to rent from €1,775 a month as funds eye sale

It all adds up: working out how much you have to invest each month will be important. Photograph:  iStockphoto

Deposit rates may have plummeted but regular investment products have soared; but investors should do their homework before alloca(...)

The OECD says  policymakers need to ensure that consumers receive appropriate financial advice for retirement.

Defined-contribution schemes put too much risk and responsibility on individuals, it says

Considering a renovation project? Remember to avail of the 13.5 per cent tax rebate scheme. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Revenue is urging Paye taxpayers to apply for tax refunds and credits before year-end deadline

Health insurance: If you’ve been on the same plan for two years, try not to let it just roll over. Many are  overpaying by 10-20 per cent for their cover.

Some 400,000 are renewing health policies next month. How can you get better value?

Taxpayers with assets offshore, be it a deposit account, an apartment, or a trust, should ensure they are compliant before the Revenue starts sending out its letters, which is likely to be after May 1st.

Taxpayers with offshore assets urged to get affairs in order before May clampdown

The Galway Clinic: the 2015  accounts show that the company sold the hospital building and equipment to a subsidiary company, Galway Clinic Doughiska, for €106 million,  creating  a profit of €52.1 million. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Spiralling cost of health insurance cited as demand for private treatment falls

Typically Ireland is listed as a top tier country for qualifications, which means it should be a matter of sorting out your paperwork rather than requiring additional qualifications to work abroad.

Nurses, doctors and other professionals can find work in the US, Canada, Australia and elsewhere

Brian Hayes: “Our pension system is going to become more and more squeezed as our population inevitably gets older.”

Brian Hayes calls for an auto-enrolment system by 2020

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland lenders offer lower-cost loans across a range of products including working capital, investment, agri-finance, invoice finance, fleet finance and leasing

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland joins forces with Fexco to offer lower cost leasing finance

First-time buyers will be able to apply for their 5 per cent tax rebate at the start of January. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Help-to-buy scheme to provide rebate of up to 5% of purchase price and will run until 2019

Even the experts can get it wrong

Financial advice to my younger self: experts look back at the money mistakes they made

While the distortion in   gross domestic product figures are a significant factor behind the 2015 result, the ratio has been in decline for some time

Ratio hints at low tax economy but figures distorted by exceptional 26% GDP growth in 2015

 Aryzta chief executive Owen Killian: Earnings at the owner of Cuisine de France fell back to €962.3 million in the three months to October 31st 2016. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta says results are in line with expectations

Current accounts are the main type of account held by consumers, and were the most complained about banking product, the Central Bank found.

Despite hefty bank charges, Irish consumers are reluctant to switch, Central Bank finds

Rolling in it? Credit Suisse says you are. Figures from the Swiss investment bank show that Irish people are worth €7,745 more this year than they were last year.

And the rich are getting richer quicker: 7,000 Irish people became millionaires last year

Personal savings, pension schemes and investments should be considered as soon as  a regular income is earned

Making a couple of good financial decisions early can make the goals of owning your own home and having a decent retirement fund f(...)

Despite private health insurance now costing an average of €1,174 per person in 2016, Irish consumers remain reluctant to switch provider, figures from the Health Insurance Authority (HIA) show.

Study shows significant savings available to those willing to switch insurance provider

The European Commission suggests there is scope for Irish house prices to increase further despite recent gains. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Houses undervalued by nearly 15 per cent in 2015, scope for price rises into 2017

The Central Bank: one area that may change is the number of exceptions banks are allowed to grant

Central Bank may soften restrictive lending rules in its review on Wednesday

David Ehrlich, chief executive of Ires Reit, says the Irish way of devising planning legislation  needs to change.  Photograph: Maxwell Photography

Ires Reit’s David Ehrlich talks about soaring rents and increasing supply

Beacon South Quarter in Sandyford, Dublin.

Trust eyes purchase of Nama block following construction of first development

& Other Stories:  Grafton Street building has been upgraded and fitted with a modern facade ahead of its opening.

H&M-owned fashion brand to open doors in Dublin city centre on Friday, December 9th

Bernard Sheridan of the Central Bank speaking at the opening of the FinCoNet conference,  in Jakarta.

Bernard Sheridan says the rise of fintech must not lead to lower compliance standards

Getting on the property ladder was often just as hard 35 years ago, with interest rates at more than 16 per cent in 1981 compared to 3.5 per cent today. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A sobering conclusion for those millennials who feel particularly hard done by

Retirees and those approaching retirement should keep an eye on developments in the bond markets over the coming weeks.

Global sell-off on inflation fears sends European bond yields higher

Chief executive of Kingspan Gene Murtagh.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

But weak sterling dampens Irish insulation manufacturer’s earnings in the UK

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney: Acquisition of Illinois-based Peacock Foods will transform Greencore’s presence in the US market.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Food group considered postponing announcement of deal after Trump election win

The IFSC: S&P says Ireland’s solid economic growth prospects are likely to underpin improvements in the Government’s budgetary position.   Photograph: Dave Meehan

‘Demographics, openness and labour and product’ flexibility benefit Irish market

 Consumers are worried about risks ranging from Brexit through to the Apple tax case and high-profile domestic industrial disputes. Photograph:  Andy Rain/EPA

Much vaunted economic recovery fails to improve household finances

 Irish Life and Permanent  chairwoman Gillian Bowler: the European Court of Justice has ruled that State has the right to right to nationalise the financial services group: David Sleator

‘Serious disturbance’ in economy gave State right to take ownership of group, ECJ rules

 Royal Bank of Scotland:      The bank set aside £400 million    after years of defending itself against claims that its global restructuring group  pushed  some companies into bankruptcy. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Reimbursment fund created after claims bank pushed companies into bankruptcy

Ryanair will split its buyback equally between the American depositary receipts held by US stockholders and ordinary shares. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Buyback over four months aimed at reducing company’s share capital

Public hospital care is not “free” as  patients must pay €75 a night for up to ten nights. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

‘Cashback’ sounds nice till you work out that in the bigger picture you’re still losing out

The budget signalled no change to the exit tax on investment products, which is levied at a rate of 41 per cent.

Companies also call for abolition of 1 per cent life assurance levy

Thought 100 per cent mortgages were a thing of the past? A  Central Bank study shows that a number of people got such a mortgage in the first half of this year. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Central Bank says 16% of loans were exempt in first half and some got 100% mortgages

Pepper Money will provide mortgages for both residential and buy-to-let customers, and it specialises in areas including refinancers, buy-to-let, the self-employed and people with historic credit issues.

Australian financial firm selling mortgages that exclude certain Irish counties

Hyundai was the best-selling car so far this year, with its Tucson the most popular vehicle sold, followed by Volkswagen,Toyota, Ford and Nissan.

Hyundai with its Tucson vehicle remains Ireland’s best-selling car

First Derivatives: Newry-based firm has benefited from the weakness of sterling. Photograph:

Chief executive says technology provider is ‘well-positioned for growth’ in rest of 2016

Subscribers to N26 Black will get a current account, plus Mastercard and insurance package, for a  monthly fee

Irish customers will be among the first to access new premium current account

Ulster Bank has been fined €10.8 million by the Central Bank since 2006, more than Quinn Insurance and Irish Nationwide. Photograph: Alan Betson

Central Bank’s fine of €3.3m imposed for breaches of anti-money-laundering protocols

China’s official PMI was shown to have expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years in October, adding to views that the world’s second-largest economy is stabilising. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

New orders recover having fallen sharply in wake of June’s Brexit vote

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has grown strongly  in recent years and accounted for more than €3 billion in lending in the UK last year and some €26 billion globally

Initiative Ireland aims to offer returns of 7% to investors lending money to other people

Bank of Ireland says it expects to see sterling trading in a range centred on 90p over the coming months. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Economic confidence steady as weak pound begins to affect Irish businesses

Under the new scheme, parents of children in full-time care will get the bones of a month’s free childcare per child from next September. Photograph: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Childcare scheme will help many parents but others will miss out

Turnover at the Irish Credit Bureau rose to €4.9 million in the year to December 31st, 2015. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

‘Uncertain’ outlook for credit reference agency as CRIF set to launch new Irish register

Rent for expat accommodation in the United Arab Emirates is similar to Dublin.

Accommodation aimed at expats is high quality but expensive and often in gated compounds

While you might secure a job from Ireland through Skype or recruitment fairs, it helps to get on an aircraft if you are looking for a job in the Gulf region.

Most Irish are finding work in the construction, education and healthcare sectors

Most expats heading for the Gulf States will have private health insurance, typically paid for by their employer.

Fees for private international schools can cost upwards of €10,000, but many employers will pay as part of a salary package

Tourist visas (often given to Irish passport holders on arrival at your destination) can be obtained for up to 30 days (renewable up to 60 days in the UAE), which will allow you to travel there and find a job before making a move.

To work you will need a visa, which is usually organised by a sponsoring employer

Tax-free salaries are one of the biggest incentives for Irish people to work in the Gulf region. In most states, if you earn €100,000 you keep €100,000, compared to just €58,869 after tax as a single person in Ireland.

Tax-free salaries and low-cost petrol are a huge plus, but rent and education are pricey

An important element of life in the Islamic Gulf States is how women are treated, and this tends to vary depending on the strictness of the regime in each of the states.

Irish people need to be prepared for a very different way of life

Life in the Gulf may be very different but there are many ways to connect with other Irish people there

HSBC’s Expat Explorer league table  placed Bahrain in fifth position  in terms of attractiveness for expats out of 34 countries, followed by Oman (6), Qatar (10) and the UAE (13).

Most Irish people end up in the United Arab Emirates, but there are opportunities elsewhere too

Davy said it expected Irish property prices to grow 7%  in 2017, 6%  in 2018 and 5% thereafter

Pressure from ‘help-to-buy’ likely to see house prices grow 7% rather than 5%

The question persists, however, as to whether more people should be brought into the income taxation system. Photograph: Getty Images

No budget largesse for many self-employed, such as an increase in earned income credit

 This year the Local Property Tax “chargeable” date is November 1st, which means that if you own a property in Ireland as of next Tuesday, you will be liable to pay property tax for the following year.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Limerick, Galway and Wexford to pay more in 2017 but there is a decrease in Dublin

ECB president Mario Draghi at a news conference to announce the bank’s interest rate decision at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Mario Draghi speaks in wake of decision to keep main lending rate unchanged

Incoming Icon chief executive Dr Steve Cutler was appointed to the company’s board in November 2015.

Chief operating officer Steve Cutler to assume top job as Ciaran Murray moves on to role of chairman

Philip Konopik, country manager of Visa Ireland,  at a briefing on the company’s  annual results in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

‘No doubt’ Apple Pay and Samsung Pay will come to Ireland, says Visa chief Philip Konopik

Microfinance Ireland was set up four years ago as a government funded not-for-profit lender to help get more people starting or running small businesses and to create and sustain jobs in Ireland.

New short-term loan of between € 2,000 and € 5,000 to help companies experiencing short-term cash flow issues

BHSL’s newly appointed chairman, former Kerry Group chief executive Denis Brosnan(left) at the company’s facility in Kantoher, Co Limerick.

Agribusiness group strengthens board ahead of plan to ‘transform’ global poultry industry

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the airline’s revised guidance remained “heavily dependent” upon no further weakness in second-half fares. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shares rise as O’Leary promises to add capacity and hold low fares

Sherry FitzGerald, for example, says it charges a rate of between 1.5 and 2.5 per cent, but precisely how much depends on a variety of factors.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Estate agent fees are rarely transparent and can fluctuate around the country

Incentivising purchasers of new homes has long been a tool used by government to try and boost supply. But as the Government of 2002 conceded when it abolished a former incarnation of the first-time buyer grant, it also boosts house prices.

State incentives have long favoured buyers of ‘new’ homes, to incentivise new construction

Lorcan O’Connor, director of the Insolvency Service of Ireland, expects further growth in insolvency services over the coming months on the back of the Government’s Abhaile initiative. Photograph: Eric Luke

Almost 900 applications made to Insolvency Service of Ireland in third quarter of this year

When can I have one? The help-to-buy rebate scheme applies to homes bought since July 19th, 2016, but Revenue will not start processing applications until January 1st, 2017. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Mortgage relief of up to €20,000 will be available to owner occupiers in new builds

Those in “group B”, ie siblings, uncles or aunts, or grandparents will now be able to inherit up to €32,500 tax free, up from €30,150 previously, while those in “group C”, who are not related, will now have a threshold of €16,250, up from €15,075

Threshold for gifts from other relations and non-relatives to rise by 8% with more to come

Fianna Fáil’s party housing spokesman Barry Cowen said an impact assessment of the scheme must be carried out in full before the party can offer its support. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Party says budget proposal to help first-time-buyers will ‘undoubtedly put prices up’

Some readers are pleased that the Government has decided to upscale dental benefits by re-introducing an annual free scale and polish. Dental benefits will also be extended to the self-employed from March 2017. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Help-to-Buy scheme announcement in budget leaves many questions unanswered

Rebate clawback rule: According to the Revenue, the property must be occupied by the first-time buyer for a period of five years from the date the property is habitable. Photograph: Laura Hutton/

Help-to-buy scheme requires purchasers to be fully tax compliant to qualify

‘Full interest deductibility’ on mortgages is on the way by 2021 but it is 80% for now

The imposition of property tax, which is still not allowed as an expense to offset tax liabilities, is another cost for landlords. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Many argue that high taxes are driving landlords from market

Oasis is selling its “button coat” for £100 in the UK, or €128 in Ireland – a differential of 15.4 per cent.

We should be benefiting from the exchange rate, but the mark-up on goods is still hefty

The regulator found that KBC Bank breached the Code of Practice on Lending  to Related Parties on 18 occasions between September 2012 and February 2016. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Central Bank says bank’s failure to adhere to policies and processes was ‘unacceptable’

Depressed prices: a sizeable number of properties selling for less than €100,000 are selling for not “full market value”.

What are the factors keeping property prices down in certain parts of the country?

Over 12 months the best rate on the Irish market is KBC Bank’s 1.15% but this is restricted to the bank’s current account customers

Figures show Irish savers are earning just 0.14% on fixed rate deposits compared with 1.8% in the Netherlands

The Central Bank study shows those looking to buy in south Co Dublin face the steepest challenge in raising house deposits.

Buyers in south Dublin need to save €40,000 more under new lending rules, study shows

The Central Bank “will want to be satisfied that the mind and will of the entity are located here,” said director of policy and risk Gerry Cross. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Regulator warns ‘passporting’ companies must have ‘substantive presence’ in State

With €300m provisioned for tax cuts in Budget 2017, don’t expect much change

Airbnb staff helping  hosts after a   meeting held in their offices in Ringsend, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

As the self-assessed tax returns deadline looms, hosts need to work out their tax liabilities

Figures show too many buyers are chasing too few properties, sending prices up. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw and reports find house prices continue to rise amid supply shortage

Limerick jobs: Casa Systems is a provider of fixed, mobile and wifi network solutions for ultrabroadband services

Technology solutions provider establishes international operations centre in the city

The deal is Nama’s third redemption of senior debt so far this year, bringing the total redeemed in 2016 alone to €4.5 billion. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Deal reduces agency’s senior debt to €3.6 billion from original €30.2 billion

Property tax is not allowed as a tax-deductible expense for landlords. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Cap on tax-deductible mortgage interest expected to be abolished over five years

GAN signed four  further Simulated Gaming clients in the US in the period with in excess of three million US active player days of both real money Regulated Gaming and Simulated Gaming.

Performance at online gaming company is ‘in line with management expectations’

An Airbnb report suggested the company’s typical host in Ireland earned €2,600 a year renting out space in their home for about 40 nights. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Listings on Irish site soar two-thirds in year despite warnings on tax from Minister

The “emigrants’ tax” would be aimed at those earning in excess of €75,000 in specialist jobs in areas such as finance, IT, medicine and science. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Tax break for emigrants proposed to encourage skilled graduates to move back

On a year-on-date basis, approvals of €4.4 billion are now 17 per cent ahead of 2015, following a slow start to 2016.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Mortgage approvals up by 26% in year to August ahead of Central Bank’s lending rules review

Irish pension funds are slowing the pace at which they build up allocations to low yielding euro zone government bonds.

A ‘surprising, sudden, intense, and large’ drop in bond prices could pose a serious threat to Irish investors and savers alike

The Global Financial Centres Index recognised Dublin as a “global leader” for its “broad and deep” financial services sector. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

London holds on to top spot in global survey but may be hit by post-Brexit sentiment

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “There’s a lot of concern in the city of London, and there is a great interest in Ireland as a location for the financial services industry.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pascal Saint-Amans says the variation in national rates was no longer questioned

A well-thought-out plan with realistic expectations is critical, say experts

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