The property tax is only 1 per cent of tax revenue. The economic argument would be to let it drift up over the years and use the cash to cut income tax, or fund key projects. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The balance of opinion in some councils is that there may be more votes in better services

The Independents, including John Halligan, claimed a great victory when Government agreed to a review of corporation tax. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The changing mood towards the State’s tax regime presents opportunities and dangers

Paschal Donohoe: looks set to reimpose the cap on tax write-downs companies can claim relating to intellectual property assets. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Paschal Donohoe must resist calls from some of the Ireland Inc lobby to slow reform

The European Union flag flies outside the European Commission building in Brussels: in a landmark decision the commission found that Apple owed the Irish Government over €13bn plus interest for unpaid tax. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Looming new corporate tax proposals open up another battlefront for Ireland

John McNamee, dressed as a customs worker, joins other members of Border Communities Against Brexit in setting up an old customs post at Carrickcarnon, between Dundalk and Newry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Europe and the UK are placing higher priority on other issues in the Brexit talks

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe indicated that the Government would press ahead with its plan to merge USC and PRSI

Minister for Finance hints at budget provisions in speech to Kennedy Summer School

Protesters wearing European Union flag masks take part in an anti-Brexit demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Central issue is how to control movement of goods entering Britain from other countries

While a big increase on tax on tobacco is a racing certainty for the budget, recent evidence suggests that high taxes may be affecting buying behaviour. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

PAYE tax credit change would put higher earners in the firing line

Traffic heading northbound on the M50. Photograph: Alan Betson

The upturn has brought traffic to a standstill. Big decisions are needed – fast

Slumping sterling: yesterday’s rate of more than 93p means the UK currency has fallen more than 10p against the euro since April. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty

Cliff Taylor: Even if euro parity isn’t on the cards, the exchange rate is hurting business

Banks charge an average of 3.55 per cent for a mortgage in the Republic, compared with the 1.87 per cent average across the EU.

Millennial squeeze driven by high costs of rent, mortgages and childcare

Brexit may damage Government attempts to keep voters on board. Photograph: Getty

If Britain is heading for a hard Brexit, we will be seeing economic nerves by next year

This graphic shows the change in the number of properties listed as available to rent on housing website Daft over the last 11 years.

Analysis: two-tier market is emerging with existing tenants slow to move due to fears of rent rises

 Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis and European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Britain will use Border as level to try to progress talks on post-Brexit trade deals

European Commission warned that if Britain leaves the customs union and the single market, as it has said it will, then the concept of a frictionless Border “is not possible.”

Cliff Taylor: EU Commission is unlikely to sign up unless it is happy that the Border is reasonably sound

The key issue is how to control goods entering Britain from third countries and ensure the correct rules and tariffs are applied before they enter the EU. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty

Cliff Taylor: Plan will not survive contact with enemy when negotiators get to Brussels

Cars driving through UK Border Control checkpoints at Calais ferry port in France. The risk is of Britain leaving the EU at the end of March 2019 with no agreement on what happens next. Were this to happen, customs checks would immediately be needed between Britain and the EU - including at the Irish border.

UK proposes transition period on leaving EU to allow for new trade deal to be agreed

The Irish Border is one of three issues on which progress is meant to be made before talks start on a new UK/EU trade deal. Photograph: Getty Images

Cliff Taylor: we need to keeping telling the Conservatives and the DUP we await their Border proposals

 A mock customs post set up in February by anti-Brexit campaigners at Ravensdale, Co Louth, to highlight concerns about the impact on trade. Photograph:   Niall Carson/PA Wire

Cliff Taylor: firms must factor in costs for a hard Brexit while hoping it never happens

Dole queues in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mac Sweeney/Provision

Department of Social Protection indicates rise in all areas may not be possible

Water supplied to the community by the local council in Drogheda, Co Louth, following a pipe burst.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

TDs need to take responsibility for the consequences of capitulating on water charges

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, pictured in Dublin this week, is correct when he says that a year has been wasted in terms of looking for a Brexit border solution. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tensions over the Border after Brexit highlight key economic risks

Shoppers pn Grafton Streetin Dublin. The number of people at work is on track to soon return to pre-crisis levels. Photograph: iStock

No Brexit hit yet, but Central Bank has cautious eye on future

The Central Bank is expecting a 3 per cent rise this year in the numbers at work Photograph: Alan Betson

Cliff Taylor: Bank still worried about ‘negative and material’ impact of Brexit

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: a member of the ‘Big Six’ that released statement on proposed border adjustment tax. Photograph: Aaron P Bernstein/Reuters

Plan would have posed long-term threat to foreign direct investment in Ireland

The falling value of the dollar is a negative for US tourists arriving in Ireland at peak season and also for Irish indigenous exporters to the US market.

Falling dollar is good news for those heading to the US on holidays

The saga of the charges and conservation grant will cost the State around €120m

 New figures by the CSO show  the domestic economy is continuing to grow strongly as people are spending more. Photograph: Getty Images

Cliff Taylor: Stripping out big multinationals presents a different picture of the economy

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cliff Taylor: Paschal Donohoe has options but faces effects of years of underinvestment

Computer generated image of Metro North. The Government is committed to increasing capital expenditure including roads, schools and transport infrastructure

Scope in Budget 2018 for new spending and tax cuts will be slightly more than €300m

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe. Photo: EPA

Move reflects ‘altered economic circumstances’ Minister for Finance says

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe arrives for a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet

We desperately need new infrastructure, but we cannot allow special interests to dictate it

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten announcing the broadband plan last April.  File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish politicians cannot afford to delay delivery of decent connections any longer

Former minister for finance Michael Noonan in 2016 with Simon Harris and Dublin Fine Gael candidates Anne-Marie Dermody, Naoise Ó Muiri, Kate O Connell and Catherine Byrne, announcing plans to abolish the USC by 2020.

Cliff Taylor: As ever, of course, voters will have one question: ‘What’s in it for me? ’

A mock customs post set up by anti-Brexit campaigners at Ravensdale, Co Louth, to highlight concerns about the impact on trade. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

North remaining in EU customs union is only way to solve riddle of having no hard Border

Philip Lane: he said one of the most attractive features Ireland could have for inward investment was a reputation for high-quality regulation

Philip Lane says regulator not responsible for promoting financial services sector

Eoghan Murphy, former minister of State at the Department of Finance, had accused other jurisdictions of regulatory arbitrage. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Central Bank’s independence should not be impinged in bid to win inward investment

Faced with the complexities of Brexit’s impact, firm business planning is impossible. Photograph: iStock

The phoney war is over and there will be big shifts into and out of Ireland, says Cliff Taylor

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. “The new Taoiseach needs to set Brexit preparation as the key economic priority.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Political debate disappears down a rabbit hole each year as budget day approaches

A graph on a trader’s screen on the trading floor of ETX Capital in London shows the fall of pound sterling when the first UK election exit poll was released. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Value of sterling, nature of Brexit and implications for island of Ireland all critical

The UK election has changed the game, no matter what Theresa May says about it now being business as usual. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

UK’s election result may mean its EU exit will not be as hard and damaging as we feared

Market uncertainty: traders will take their direction from political developments that could take some time to unfold, but some volatile moves are possible. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Cliff Taylor: We are deep into the realm of unknown unknowns about Brexit

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan will leave the office with State’s economy in much better shape than when he took over. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Finance’s success in navigating bailout sowed seeds of controversy to follow

The UK currency dropped in the immediate wake of the exit poll by 2 per cent against the US dollar and the euro and was trading around 1.5 per cent lower an hour later. File photograph:  Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

UK currency drops in immediate wake of prediction by 2% against euro and US dollar

British Prime Minister Theresa May fell short of an overall majority

Euro climbs to over 88p in a move which will worry Irish exporters to the UK

For public servants, the pay deal delivers average rises of 6.6 per cent by 2020, or just over 2 per cent a year.

Deal will cost €180m next year and more in subsequent two years

Lloyds of London won’t be moving to Dublin, having chosen Brussels as its post-EU base.

With QBE and Lloyds choosing Brussels, time is running out to lure big financial firms here

Lloyds building in London. Lloyds will set up its EU base in Brussels

Cliff Taylor: Move by QBE to choose Brussels shows tough competition for Dublin

AIB headquarters, Dublin: the bank group made profits of more than €1.6 billion last year, allowing the planned stockmarket float to go ahead. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Flotation is underpinned by margins in excess of European norms and little competition

For the year to date income tax remains just over €200m   behind target. Photograph: iStock

Income tax is still behind and it is a mystery given the strong employment growth

AIB headquarters in Ballsbridge: If the Government sells its stake too cheaply and shares rocket after the float, it will be criticised. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

State’s case to EU to loosen rules on infrastructure spending does not hinge on AIB

Former  Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick leaving  Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Wednesday, after he  was acquitted on all charges  of misleading  auditors. Photograph: Collins Courts

Jaw-dropping errors have shaken public’s faith in handling of banking crisis

The two Fine Gael leadership candidates are both promising to reduce the tax burden, but they both also want to increase spending. They won’t have much scope to pursue this agenda in the Budget because the numbers just won’t add up. Fle photograph: Getty Images

FG contest: Due to EU fiscal rules and economic crisis there’s little room for error on Budget

 Leo Varadkar: says he favours a less onerous    ratio of national debt to GDP of 55%

FG leadership contender says move needed to free more cash for capital investment

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to get an annual pension of €126,000 and an up-front lump sum of €378,000 when he retires as a TD. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Favourable tax treatment enhances generous terms for retiring politicians

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: entitled a pension of about €126,000 a year, plus a lump sum on retirement of €378,000, the Dáil was told. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Retiring politicians and public servants also benefit from favourable tax rules

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives at a European Union summit in Brussels in 2011 where leaders met to work out a deal to resolve the euro zone debt crisis and find a way to give the bloc’s bailout fund greater firepower. File photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters

Post-bailout, pre-Brexit Ireland may be as good as it gets in terms of tax and spending

Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief negotiator on Brexit, with  Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings on Thursday. Photograph: Paul Faith/Reuters

Ireland needs to be Brexit peacemaker to keep talks on track and prevent collapse

Brexit: The IMF has called on the Government to ensure it has room for budgetary manoeuvre. Photograph: Getty Images

Significant resources must be set aside in readiness for impending risks, warns IMF

US president Donald Trump thinks Ireland has done a good job in getting through the crisis by not increasing taxes. Photograph: Reuters

President Trump’s comments may have related to Ireland’s policy on corporate tax

At lower pay levels, those in the public sector earn 15%  more than their private sector counterparts. At higher pay levels, the cash amounts are almost exactly reversed, with those in the private sector doing better

Difference between public and private sectors has closed due to cuts in public pay

A television screen displays news footage relating to the result of France’s presidential election, as traders works on the trading floor of ETX Capital in London on May 8th. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images

However, in these turbulent times, political risk has not been removed from the financial markets

There is probably close to two new buyers for every one new house on average. The housing squeeze, in other words, is getting squeezier.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The lack of adequate houses at all levels is one of the biggest issues Ireland faces

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May  and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. If the talks collapse, it will be hard hat time. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Irish business leaders will be watching nervously to see which way the talks go

A Border Communities Against Brexit protest at Government Buildings highlighted some of the issues facing the State. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

New strategy document also calls for help to manage period before new trade deal agreed

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and British prime minister Theresa May: There is a complete lack of clarity over whether Ms May’s government is willing to make the kind of concessions which would make a softer Brexit possible. Photograph: Matthew Mirabelli/AFP/Getty

Cliff Taylor: If we learned one thing from financial crisis, it is big guns always win

US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin ends a briefing at the White House after unveiling the Trump administration’s proposal to cut corporation tax from 35 per cent to 15 per cent.  Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

However silver lining suggests plan for border tax on imports now on back-burner

US national economic director Gary Cohn and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin unveil the Trump administration’s tax reform proposal in the White House on Wednesday. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

However, there is a silver lining as border tax looks like it’s on the back-burner

Pay and display: the boom-time rise in incomes was one reason we got in such trouble. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Pay restoration looks set to follow water charges and become the next political mess

“The Brexit talks are about damage limitation and the huge and lengthy challenges Theresa May faces may slowly be becoming clear in Downing Street”

Snap election in the UK could mean a softer Brexit which would benefit Ireland

At present the average cost of SME loans in Ireland is over 6.5%, more than twice the euro zone average

If loan scheme is similarly priced to funding for farmers, interest could be about 3%

Cystic Fibrosis sufferer and campaigner Jillian McNulty with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin outside the Dáil on Wednesday after the HSE reached a deal on the provision of Orkambi. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Cliff Taylor: High-tech drugs budget now similar to routine spending on defence

A hardish Brexit could knock one percentage point off our growth rate for a few years. Photograph: Reuters

Brexit is just one of the unknowns making growth predictions tricky

Michael Noonan also explained how the State could draw on European Investment Bank funds for key infrastructural projects. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister tells Oireachtas committee any extra spending or tax cuts would be ‘modest’

The Department of Finance is expected to increase its growth forecasts – and this may mean some rise in the €1.2bn figure. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Irish economy’s growth should not blind us to reality in the upcoming budget process

Michael O’Leary: Warned that aircraft might not fly between the EU and UK for a time after spring 2019 exit. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Caveat: Debate hinges on which airlines will be able to fly to and from which airports

The more prices accelerate ahead of incomes, the more difficult it will be for the average younger buyers to, in the words of the old cliché, get their first step on the housing ladder. (Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

The more prices accelerate ahead of incomes, the more difficult it is for the average younger buyer to get on the first rung of th(...)

Dublin Bus: the fleet was out of service on Friday due to secondary picketing during an unofficial strike by transport workers as part of the Bus Éireann strike. Photograph: Alan Betson

Travelling public takes hit in the war between trade unions and Government

The UK’s exit bill relates to commitments already made to EU spending programmes and other liabilities. Photograph: EPA

Influential Bruegel institute sees UK needing to pay at least €25.4bn

Will economic sanity lead to an orderly Brexit deal? Or will political tensions lead to a collapse in the talks?

Theresa May’s comment that Brexit must not damage the Republic of Ireland rings a bit hollow

A European Union flag flies near Big Ben in London. Ireland’s interests stand particularly exposed in the Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Failure to reach a deal would result in chaos and be dire for the UK and Ireland

NTMA chief executive Conor O’Kelly:  “Nobody has a crystal ball on interest rates.”

NTMA actively lengthens maturity of Irish debt to EU-record average of 11 years

British prime minister Theresa May:  will make statement to House of Commons on March 29th, the same day article 50 will be triggered. Photograph: Dimitris Legakis/EPA

Theresa May will pull the trigger on March 29th but real action won’t start until late May

President Michael D Higgins  hit out at an European Commission White Paper saying  it appears no one is  addressing the underlying issues honestly. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Instead of a grand plan, the union needs to take practical steps to address problems

Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen: Reaction to  a 0.25 point interest rate  increase in the US  shows how a few sets of positive economic figures and some nudging from those in charge can change expectations – dramatically – in a matter of weeks. Photograph:  Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Forecasts are uncertain but ‘normal’ growth appears to be returning in Europe and the US

The immediate reaction to the Fed bulletin was a fall in the US dollar. Photograph: Getty Images

Pressing fiscal question is when will the ECB be prepared to follow the Federal Reserve?

Michael Noonan has  said his meetings with US fund Cerberus ’were not inappropriate in any way’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister says he was not given a chance to answer criticism of meetings with Cerberus

What deal will the EU and UK come to regarding the 800 million litres of milk the Republic annually imports from the North – and all the beef we export to Britain? Photograph: Kevin Miyazaki/The New York Times

Irish Government addicted to positive spin and playing down the hard details

There are  some indications that European Central Bank president Mario Draghi could preside over an increase in interest rates next year. Photograph: Getty Images

Cliff Taylor translates the ECB president’s comments on interest rates into plain English

UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond makes his maiden budget speech.

Projected growth looks good but Brexit impact and other variables could alter that

The amount of money water charges would have collected was not enormous in the overall context of the exchequer finances.

Relying on a small number of companies and individuals could prove dangerous

Eamon Ryan: “We have learned nothing from  before the economic crash where a lack of independent questioning led to unsustainable budget decision-making.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Greens leader slates delay in setting up office to advise Oireachtas members on budget

Theresa May: The British prime minister is under pressure to “deliver” a clean break with the EU. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

A big divorce row over the UK bill could poison or even derail Brexit negotiations

Michael Noonan: ‘There is a good case to reduce personal taxation rates further.’

Minister says sustained economic growth could allow for tax reductions in next budget

Champagne   disappeared from the CPI in 2012 –  but it’s back in now. Photograph:   Getty Images

Statistics body once counted pressure cookers and kippers - but no more

The European Commission report is critical of some of the key Government interventions in the housing market

European Commission says increased reliance on corporation tax also a concern

We have regained around two-thirds of the job losses which were sustained during the  economic crash

Davy stockbrokers says unemployment rate could fall towards 6% this year

Enda Kenny at a jobs announcement by Microsoft on Friday. Unless he can stage an unlikely comeback he needs to depart the stage quickly. Photograph: Alan Betson

With the country facing big decisions there is no time for a ‘long goodbye’

‘It is one thing for Trump to call on US companies to invest at home, but it is much more significant if he gives them a real financial incentives to do so.’

US president plans to increase taxes on those importing to sell into the American market

The split of Hewlett Packard led to the creation of HP Inc, which took on the consumer business and also Hewlett Packard Enterprises, which serves business customers in areas such as enterprise hardware and cloud computing. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Close attention will be paid to whether Trump’s policies have affected move

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