UCC economist Séamus Coffey: cash transfers on the State pension were ‘right at the bottom’ of the EU table. Photograph: David Sleator

Ireland has low-tax and low-spend economy compared with other EU states, study finds

Last year the State collected €41.28 billion in tax, the first time in six years that receipts exceeded €40 billion. Photograph: Alan Betson

Income tax receipts contribute about 41% of tax revenue

 Prof Honohan was speaking at the Oireachtas finance committee, likely to be his final appearance before he leaves his role later this year  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Central Bank governor said there was a ‘broad distributional impact’ from the programme

Michael Noonan: an advance in quarterly growth in spring and early summer led the Minister  to upgrade his growth forecast for the Irish economy twice within one week.  Photograph: David Sleator

ESRI highlights difficulty in establishing accurate growth measurements

The former governor of the Central Bank  Patrick Honohan: his successor will have to underpin domestic and international confidence in the organisation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Applications to be sought within Ireland and abroad to succeed Patrick Honohan

European economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici warns that Ireland remains vulnerable to economic shock

EU commissioner says talks must intensify with Greece to unlock €7.2bn in loans

  Four months have passed since Alexis Tsipras’s hard-left Syriza movement swept to power with ardent promises of a new beginning for Greece, an end to austerity and the “humiliation” of troika oversight, and a write-down of the vast national debt. Well, it never happened. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Greece needs quick deal to ensure it can repay €1.5bn to IMF and avert bankruptcy

Richie Boucher: was one of the bankers who met with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photo: Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland

Development follows two days of talks with bank chiefs

Ireland had an unemployment rate of just 4.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2007, but that ratepeaked at 15.1 per cent in 2012. In the first quarter of 2015, it dropped to 9.9 per cent.

Data shows economy continues to create jobs at a steady rate as recovery continues

Data from the Central Statistics Office indicates that the unemployment rate dropped to 9.9 per cent in the first quarter.

A total of 12,500 jobs were created in the first three months of the year

Bank of Ireland finished unchanged  at the end of a day in which more than 24 million shares were traded

Comments from ECB that it might soon be bond-buying causes market jump

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan relayed message on interest rates to AIB, Ulster Bank and ACC when they met  yesterday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

State seeking fall of up to 0.75 percentage points within two months

Lars Frisell, adviser to  Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan, criticised: “Europe’s deplorable tradition” of bailing out banks and bankers at the expense of taxpayers.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Anglo and ‘equally reckless’ Irish Nationwide should never have been included

Arthur Beesley (left): ‘There are greater and more pressing inequalities that should be tackled’; and Hugh Linehan: ‘There is no logical reason for the existing age limit of 35 on candidates standing for the presidency.’  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Yes, says Hugh Linehan. No, argues Arthur Beesley, in an Irish Times online debate on the referendum

The effort to confront the banks comes amid mounting pressure on Mr Noonan from backbench TDs in Fine Gael particularly, who have been demanding a deeper response from the Government. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Minister will tell bank chiefs he will act on variable rates if they don't

Independent Senator Feargal Quinn said: “This shameless profiteering by banks can no longer be tolerated.”   Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Feargal Quinn says 'shameless profiteering' from variable rates must end

National house prices rose 13% last year and  Dublin prices rose 22% said the draft national risk assessment report which aims to identify financial and non-financial risks to inform preventative measures

They reduce mobility and harm economic competitiveness, says risk assessment report

Danny McCoy of Ibec: “If Britain should decide on an exit, there will definitely be a debate in Ireland on whether we should not do the same.”

Irish exit from EU might become inevitable if Britain quits, Danny McCoy tells German newspaper

At issue  is the commission’s preliminary finding Apple received a “selective” advantage from the Revenue in tax opinions in 1991 and 2007

Tax inquiry assessment casts further light on remarkable benefit Apple derives from its Irish arrangement

The IMF advised the  Central Bank, which is based on  Dame Street in Dublin, that it should review the supervisory risk appetite underpinning Prism (probability risk impact supervisory system). Picture: Matt Kavanagh

It says existing governance structures could ‘potentially introduce political considerations’

The new plan is designed to improve the operation of the personal insolvency scheme by removing banks’ power of veto over a proposed solution

Government hopes its new plan will settle the crisis ahead of looming general election

Boost for Permanent TSB as bank removed from S&P’s credit watch list

Revenue Commissioners data suggests the share of income tax and universal social charge paid by those earning over €200,000 has risen to 21% after the budget from 19% before it. Photograph: Getty Images

Data comes in wake of ESRI budget analysis noting top 10% of earners would gain most

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan told the Dáil  he is prepared to give powers to the Central Bank to cut variable mortgage rates if it seeks such powers. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Ireland is further down the track of deficit correction than Britain

Carrie Lam during a talk a Trinity College Dublin. The Hong Kong official dismissed criticism of tweaks to the plan to elect the city’s chief executive from 2017. Photograph: Conor McCabe

Chief secretary for administration sees ‘little adverse impact’ from 2014 demonstrations

Taxes are ahead of the target for 2015 announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Department of Finance at the time of the budget. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Spike in corporation tax revenue fails to offset disappointing figures for VAT and Dirt tax

Tax revenues in April came in below the Government’s official target

Ulster Bank is to join the Credit Review Office on a non-statutory basis next month. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Move raises possibility of external appeal over business loan refusals

Of the high rate of mortgage arrears, the IMF said settlements would vary as it called for greater resolution efforts

Coalition strategy secures approval but concerns expressed over future growth

Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan: ‘The Central Bank’s work focused on the integrity of IBRC governance processes and controls.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Matter now closed from bank’s perspective, says Patrick Honohan

Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan yesterday: ‘We’re very much now into a phase of repair and consolidation.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Governor says economy is well on way to repair but he is still concerned over debt

 Central Bank governor  Patrick Honohan with the bank’s deputy governor, Stefan Gerlach, at the press briefing on the bank’s annual report yesterday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Patrick Honohan confirms departure as governor before official end of mandate

IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan: “Large multinationals in the US have come out in favour of same-sex marriage.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Martin Shanahan says No vote would send negative signal to international business

Rate increases suck money from the economy – and all the more so when debt levels are high. While banks are notably reluctant to pass on rate cuts to mortgage customers, they would not delay passing on rate increases

Given the very heavy indebtedness in Ireland, a rate hike could be trouble

IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan: ‘A Yes vote will say that Ireland is open, inclusive and welcomes diversity, and that would be a very positive message to be sending internationally.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

IDA chief on marriage equality, tax regime, the Apple investigation and outlook for year

 Former ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet at an event in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Bank had been ‘extraordinarily supportive’ of Ireland, ex-ECB boss tells panel

Jean-Claude Trichet in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Former ECB chief says it was not the bank’s fault that the State was vulnerable

Only the Economic and Social Research Institute is forecasting higher growth than the Government. The ESRI believes the economy will expand 4.4 per cent. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Hunch remains that Noonan’s latest growth forecast probably understates the position

Mr Noonan (left) said he had “absolute hard evidence” that €1.2bn would be available for tax cuts and spending increases in the October budget. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Up to €1.5bn set to be available for tax cuts and tangible improvement in public services

The reservation of scope for between €1.2 billion and €1.5 billion indicates the Government will indeed have some money to spend in its final budget before the election.

50:50 split of spending increases and tax cuts, ensures no bonanza for State’s employees

Coalition re-election campaign starts with tax plan and investment in jobs, children and health

Pierre Moscovici, European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs. In a letter to Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes last Thursday, Mr Moscovici said the European Commission and committees of officials from member states had looked carefully into concerns raised by Ireland.

Move comes as Coalition finalises spring economic statement

McCrory defeats league vice-president Ronayne by 273 votes to 267 in Kerry

News of the Central Bank examination of Siteserv’s sale by the former Anglo Irish Bank comes as Government prepares to publish terms of reference today for an inquiry into the transaction by IBRC’s special liquidators. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

No regulatory action taken afterwards and now there are calls for scrutiny of share sales

Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance: the spring economic statement, to be unveiled in the Dáil, will set a five-year plan for  public finances and assumes the economy will expand by 4 per cent this year. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Economic plan for last budget before election set to depart from ‘austerity’ precedents

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, centre, with other participants at a finance ministers’ meeting in Riga, Latvia, yesterday. Photograph: Dmitris Sulzics/F64 Photo Agency via AP

With Greece no closer to a deal, doubt is spreading to other countries

Dublin Airport arrivals are returning to peak levels. Similarly, Dublin Port traffic is back at the peak. A big rise in public transport trips since the crash also reflects a higher level of activity. Photograph: Artur Widak/PA Wire

New data shows activity in some sectors in capital already back to peak levels

Prof Peter Clinch: ‘Already there are warning signs and domestically determined cost competitiveness is no longer improving.’

As economy picks up, costs have also advanced and pay pressures have risen

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton. Photograph: Eric Luke

Recent price reductions at risk of being reversed, cautions competitiveness council

Ireland was a reliable Tesco sweet spot for years, with sales advancing rapidly and a profit margin well ahead of the group average.

Aggressive discounters continue to eat into supermarket’s margins

Tesco had 10 successive quarterly falls in like-for-like sales in Irish market. Photograph: Getty Images

Annual sales in Irish business down to €2.56bn from €2.69bn in previous year

The new transatlantic cable will have the capacity for 200,000 simultaneous online movie downloads. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The Aqua Comms project will provide an infrastructural backbone for the west coast

The cable will be the first fibre connection between Ireland’s western seaboard and the US. Photograph: Thinkstock

Aqua Comms’ funding for multi-million euro cable, landing in Killala, will help economy

The Central Bank in Dublin.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Central Bank moves to dispose of sovereign bonds held after collapse of Anglo Irish Bank

The Government is expected to announce its final mortgage arrears package at the end of the month, following the spring economic statement

Government planning further measures to tackle worrying mortgage arrears crisis

The office block being built by Denis O’Brien at the junction of St Stephen’s Green and Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Spectacular growth in commercial property is sparking bubble fears and posing a threat to FDI

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis speaking at the Brookings Institute in Washington on Thursday. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Angela Merkel is unlikely to cut Greece out of the euro given years of EU integration

A female activist is carried away by  security personnel after an incident at the press conference of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, yesterday. Photograph: Boris Roessler/EPA

Female activist jumps on ECB chief’s press podium and throws confetti

The Central Bank in Dublin. The IMF’s revised Irish forecast figure is directly in line with the Government’s forecast in the October budget but way behind that of business lobby Ibec, which has said gross domestic product will grow this year by 5.4 per cent

Irish economy forecast to expand 3.9% this year, up from 3.5% three weeks ago

A tour bus in Athens drives past graffiti depicting ancient lawmaker Solon: Greeks may need his wisdom now as debt talks resume. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Warning comes as difficult talks resume between Greece and international lenders

Paddy Power shares jumped almost 3 per cent to a new all-time high of €84.34.

Smurfit Kappa centre of attention in Dublin, closing 2% stronger at €29.50

Minister for Jobs and Enterprise  Richard Bruton  at a jobs announcement: he aims to provide guidance to policymakers and inform political debate sooner than official data picks up changes in conditions.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sensitive data used to track employment with results published each month

No 1 Harbourmaster Place, Dublin: “As the recovery has gained strength, office yields have continued to harden, which has enabled private equity buyers to cash in and move into higher yielding sectors,” says John McCartney, Savills Ireland director of research. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Private equity groups are moving into higher-yielding sectors such as retail

 Michael Noonan: message from the Minister is that there will be no wavering from the path of prudence. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tax take across several categories surges in latest public finances data

VAT collections reached €3.8bn in the quarter, an increase of €431m, or 12.8%, on the same period last year. Photograph: Getty Images

Revenue exceeds target for first quarter by €545m, sparking further calls for tax cuts

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton:  notes that every person who leaves the live register to take up employment saves the exchequer about €20,000 a year. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Positive trend is such Taoiseach Enda Kenny is talking of ‘full-employment’ by 2018

Tax payments in the first three months of the year came in 5.5 per cent ahead of target   Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Three-month figures flattered by once-off transfer from National Pension Reserve Fund

Michael Noonan: acknowledged  the Central Bank did not have the power to force banks to reduce their rates but said the Central Bank could seek to persuade them to do so.

Noonan to ask Honohan to seek action from lenders on variable rate mortgages

The Central Bank on Dame Street, Dublin. “We have an economy which last year grew by nearly 5 per cent. We have an economy which is expected to grow by nearly 4 per cent this year and next”

Fiscal fuelling of cyclical forces must be avoided to maintain upturn, says bank

Gabriel Fagan, chief economist, at the Central Bank Quarterly Bulletin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Gabriel Fagan says high cost of Irish home-loans due to lack of competition

While the Central Bank said Ireland is making progress to overcome the legacy of the crash, the challenge now was to ensure the emerging recovery delivered a sustainable return to steady growth and increasing employment.

Economic recovery continuing, bank says, but cautions against fanning of cyclical pressures

The Fiscal Advisory Council cautioned that scope for discretionary tax cuts in the October budget will remain “limited”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Fiscal council backs ‘limited departure’ from expenditure curbs in last budget before election

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has argued  the granting of an extension to France to curb its deficit should be followed by the application of similar  flexibility for smaller countries. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Intervention will help Government’s bid for budget flexibility

The Japan Tobacco group has initiated action against the Government in the High Court to block the introduction of plain cigarette packs. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Japan Tobacco group serves legal papers with the Chief State Solicitor’s Office

 Patricia King:  worried that courts would not be subject to judicial review

Ictu chief worried about ‘secret courts’ for investors and corporations

Some claim that ‘austerity’  has driven these health and education to the point of breakdown

The economy may be on the mend but health and education are still suffering

 Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton: “As a small open economy, Ireland’s ability to grow and create jobs is directly linked to our ability to sell our goods and services overseas”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Government-commissioned research predicts TTIP would hugely boost economy

‘Zayn Malik’s exit from hurly-burly world of 1D . . . might just preserve his composure.’ Photograph: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

‘The proper place for a 21-year-old is in a nightclub; or a night-train to Mongolia with nothing much to do in the morning’

The IMF has issued a warning on public sector pay, saying the Government should contain the wage bill as the advancing recovery starts to “fire on all cylinders”.

Global fiscal organisation backs means testing medical cards and child benefit payments

The ESRI believes the new Central Bank mortgage caps to prevent another property bubble were mistimed. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Alert comes in wake of Coalition pledge on pay restoration and public sector union talks

David Duffy (left) QEC author and co-author Kieran Quinn, speaking at the publicatioin of the ESRI Quarterly Economic Commentary 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times

Ahead of a blitz of political promises, the think-tank offers some perspective

President Barack Obama: officials took note he had criticised tax stratagems deployed in Ireland by big global companies

Government moved to scrap loophole in budget after body highlighted criticism

A queue on  Poolbeg Street waiting for the Garda National Immigration Bureau to open on Burgh Quay. “A policy of large planned increases in the amount of immigration into the EU, while also politically challenging, may turn out to be the only way to keep the European economy expanding in the future”

EU population ageing to have enormous impact on growth potential, study says

The government will be obliged for years to maintain a very tight rein on spending and do more to eliminate what is known as the structural deficit

Statement will be dressed-up variant of a formal document the Government is obliged to produce under European budget rules

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: the UK budget speech has many  parallels with the Irish situation. In fact they  are so striking that the same report could well be pre-written in respect of Mr Noonan’s next budget in October, the last before the election here.  Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Osborne budget: many economic methods ring a bell in Ireland

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has expressed concern about the effect of ultra-low interest rates in the global economy.

OECD urges states to take ‘more balanced approach’ to structural policy

Shipments of the bubbly stuff to Ireland remain flat despite with consumption down again in 2014

Dermot Desmond: Was aiming to develop a premier destination pitched at the top of the global market. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Financier’s private equity firm engages top legal advisers for multimillion dollar action

Anglo Irish Bank’s former headquarters: PwC did not believe interest roll-up data from the bank, which should, in the circumstances, have raised questions over the credibility of its other data. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Accountants uncovered fact that some big-time borrowers had ‘severe cash difficulties’

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen: told the Dáil in November 2008 that a PwC report ‘demonstrates, under a number of stress scenarios, that capital levels in the covered institutions will remain above regulatory levels in the period to 2011’. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach was told banks might lose €10.6bn in worst-case scenario

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: Government will publish “updated forecasts for 2015” in the spring statement. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Revenue from asset sales, ECB stimulus and buoyant exports at heart of fiscal agenda

Questions regarding goods made abroad have surfaced in reports from the Central Bank of Ireland. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Items do not pass through the State en route to purchasers but are still reflected in GDP

Bernard McNally, the owner of Supervalu in Clones, has seen an increase in buisness. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson

Border town has seen uplift but hotels and firms such as Glanbia are also poised to benefit

The CSO’s Michael Connolly said the ‘traditional’ sector had posted strong growth Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

CSO finds that both domestic and multinational companies are posting expansion

On a seasonally adjusted basis, constant price Gross Domestic Product (GNP) rose by 0.2 per cent for the final three months of the year

GDP up 0.2% in fourth quarter with GNP up 2.3%

Chief executive of the Irish Exporters’ Association Simon McKeever said there was evidence to suggest small and mid-sized firms were also seeking to tap new opportunities in the British market. Photograph: The Irish Times

Currency weakness against sterling and dollar helping national recovery efforts

Sterling is down 10 per cent since the start of the year and the dollar is already down 12 per cent. Photograph: Getty Images

Euro’s decline towards dollar parity the big currency story of ECB quantitative easing

Arthur Cox in 1964. From the book ‘Arthur Cox’ written by Eugene McCague.

From corporate titan to missionary

A financial trader reacts as he monitors data on computer screens at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. With the European Central Bank buying its first government bonds this week to shore up the region’s economy, options traders are showing little concern that the DAX Index might decline. Photograph: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Bank buys up Irish sovereign bonds as part of European Council scheme

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