Some little things...

Fri, Aug 17, 2012, 01:00

Satellite broadcaster Sky published an interesting report recently on its contribution to the British economy.

Sadly, there were no figures for Ireland, where it is the biggest pay TV group with more than 690,000 subscribers.

Among other things, the UK report states that it makes a contribution of £604 million (€769 million) in taxes to the British treasury in VAT collected from subscribers and from employees.

This figure includes VAT paid by Irish subscribers. Under an EU harmonisation directive, UK-based Sky charges the British VAT rate to customers here on their monthly subscriptions. This will change when a new directive comes into force at the beginning of 2015 and the VAT will flow to the Irish exchequer.

With Sky ramping up staff numbers in Ireland to more than 900 and planning to launch into broadband, a similar report on its economic impact here would make for interesting reading.

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United Drug’s statement this week that it is likely to quit the Irish stock market in favour of London is part of a depressing trend among our plcs.

CRH has already moved its primary listing to London, as did Greencore. With Elan on the verge of breaking up and Aer Lingus under offer from Ryanair, more of our plcs could disappear from the Iseq.

CRH’s Irish chief executive, Myles Lee, was asked this week if the decision to move the primary listing to the FTSE pulled on his patriotic heartstrings.

“It was a difficult decision but I think it was the right one for all shareholders,” he said. “The FTSE brand has a higher recognition in Asia and is a strong calling card for us there.”