Anyone who earns €70,000 or more (or who merely aspires one day to earn that much) is on their own. Photo: Bloomberg
Plucking the SME goose

Some of the clearest messages of the budget were, amongst other things, deeply cynical. Anyone who earns €70,000 or more (or who merely aspires one da(...)

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: As some of the power has seeped back to Dublin, the transition has elicited another form of instability: narrow sectional interests flex their muscles for the first time in what seems an age

The way in which we formulate and implement fiscal policy is not fit for purpose. The run-up to each budget has become a lobbyist’s paradise; politica(...)

Apple’s effective tax rate, properly measured, is 26 per cent rather than the 52 per cent for PAYE workers. Photograph: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Has the significance of inward investment been exaggerated, even to the detriment to the growth of indigenous businesses? The jobs provided by mult(...)

A tax protest march in the early 1980s. The debate still rages.

Pre-budget hysteria rises inexorably year by year. And with it comes a fall in the quality of proper analysis. The debate has become increasingly juve(...)

The “Dragons’ Den” approach to SME financing does have a few lessons for the real world. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / IRISH TIMES

Dragons’ Den is a peculiar form of SME financing, a subject that is seldom far from the news these days. Although mostly an exercise in ritual humilia(...)

An Apple iPhone 6. “The idea that we can weigh Google’s or Apple’s output is daft but it is still one that is embodied in our systems of national accounting. Statisticians struggle to keep up, and issue ‘patches’ to GDP measurement in the same way that Microsoft programmers try to fix bugs in Windows software.” Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The OECD describes current corporate tax arrangements as “double non-taxation”. That’s quite a damning statement. The drive for a more rational glo(...)

Membership of the EU is not a gimme for Scotland. So, whether they vote Yes or No to independence, they might well be an ex-EU member by 2017, given the other referendum, on UK EU membership, that could be taking place around then

It has only been a week-and-a-half since the Scottish independence debate exploded into life - or at least into our consciousness. Saturation media co(...)

Morning commuters walk past the Lehman Brothers headquarters in 2008.

Next Monday sees the sixth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. That bankruptcy has been blamed for the Global Financial Crisis and the mel(...)

Scottish first minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond covers his eyes with cakes during a visit to Browning Bakers in Kilmarnock. Photograph: EPA/Robert Perry

One of the many peculiarities of the Scottish independence debate is the potential upside for English Conservatives should the vote for secession succ(...)

A student peruses the books  in Oxford. Oxford University has a student population in excess of 20,000 taken from over 140 countries around the world. Photo: Getty Images

One of my favourite textbooks offers the following opinion about intellectual progress: “today’s undergraduates study the material covered in yesterda(...)