Higher tax rate calculations, assessing the gig economy and uncorking Irish wine sales

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from ‘The Irish Times’ business desk

The scale of the so-called gig economy isn’t as significant as some reports suggest, according to a new study by the ESRI.

The scale of the so-called gig economy isn’t as significant as some reports suggest, according to a new study by the ESRI.

 

Revenue officials have been doing their sums ahead of October’s budget and reckon the Government could raise €433 million in Budget 2019 by introducing a new 43 per cent income tax rate for workers earning more than €80,000 a year. In a new document the Commissioners have outlined several scenarios related to the potential cost/gain of increasing/decreasing income tax rates. They also report that more than 120,000 workers across the State will be pushed into higher tax bands next January, with the largest burden to be borne by middle-income earners, if no changes are made to the current tax regime.

The scale of the so-called gig economy isn’t as significant as some reports suggest, according to a new study by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). The research found the incidence of part-time or “contingent” employment in the Republic remains at pre-recessionary levels despite claims it has been increasing over time.

Irish consumers downed a record 9.1 million cases of wine last year, despite continuing to pay the highest rate of excise duty on wine in the EU. The Irish Wine Association’s latest annual report noted that while alcohol consumption here continues to fall, wine sales are the exception, rising last year.

While Greece exited its bailout yesterday, Venezuela resorted to desperate measures to arrest an economic collapse, lopping five zeros off the bolívar, devaluing it by 95 per cent and tying it to an obscure state-run cryptocurrency. As it tries to curb hyperinflation - running at over 80,000 per cent - the government is also slashing fuel subsidies and raising the minimum wage by 3,000 per cent.

In her media column, Laura Slattery laments the fact new EU roaming regulations are turning holidays into digital detox disasters. Attempts to escape from your everday feed of news and trivialities is futile.

According to figures published in today’s Irish Times, homeowners are being charged as much as €2,250 to break out of a fixed rate mortgage, with AIB imposing a much higher break fee on its own customers than its subsidiary EBS does. In Your Money, Fiona Reddan outlines how high break fees make it difficult for homeowners who were locked into fixed rates some time ago to benefit from growing competition in the mortgage market.

Meanwhile, Proinsias O’Mahony considers investments in Apple, the trillion-dollar baby and outlines six lessons for investors.