Good news for rural homeowners in Ireland as the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White announces that he expects every household to be connected to high speed broadband by 2020. The project will cost the Government in the region of €400 to €500 million and will bring broadband to over 1,000 towns and villages throughout the country. The minimum speed for each household will be 30Mbps and it is anticipated that 1.6m homes will be connected by 2016. For more information on the areas affected see broadband.gov.ie.
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A number of anti water charge protests took part across the country today as protesters expressed their anger for the new charges. The structure of the new water charges will cost the Exchequer a total of €84 million per year. This cost is made up of the Government compensating Irish Water for introducing the new lower domestic charge cap and also the cost of the water conversion grant for non Irish Water customers. Mr Alan Kelly announced the chargers today as follows; single-adult household to be capped at €160 a year, €260 cap on all other households and eligible houses will receive a €100 Water Conversion Grant. You can find more information on the water charges at www.citizensinformation.ie.
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Water service charges across the country were applied from 1 October 2014 and the first bill is now set to arrive on our doorsteps in Jan 2015. Some household insurance companies are now concerned at the large bills homeowners are facing as a result of burst pipes. Despite Irish water guaranteeing to fix the first leak that occurs in a garden free of charge, leaks in the home or a second leak will be the responsibility of the owner and liable to a large bill for any loss of metered water. Allianz have said that they have increase it’s home insurance policy to include loss of metered water cover up to €1,000. Other firms such as 123.ie, Liberty and Aviva are set to follow but are awaiting clarity on charges. For more details on the charges and billing please see: http://www.water.ie/billing-and-metering/billing/
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Great news for Irish job seekers as Facebook in Ireland has just opened a 120,000 square foot office in the Grand Canal Square area of Dublin. The new office has the capacity to boost employee numbers from the current level of 500 to well over 1000. The managing director of Facebook in Ireland Ms Sonia Flynn stated in a recent interview with RTE News that the company is here to stay and keen to help redevelop the Irish economy.
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The National Transport Authority continue to increase the number of compliance checks into taxi drivers across the country. In September alone, over 2600 compliance checks were carried out on small public service vehicles. The checks uncovered 2 unlicensed operators and issued over 150 fixed penalties for drivers standing illegally for hire. The authority also received approximately 100 complaints of driver conduct in the month. For more information the taxi compliance activities, regulations and how to pay fees etc try the National Transport Authority’s website at www.nationaltransport.ie.
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Good news for homeowners in Ireland as AIB, EBS and Haven cut mortgage rates by up to 0.25% from 1 December 2014. The bank suggests that these changes could have an affect on around 145,000 mortgage account holders. In addition, new market leading fixed rates are set to be introduced from 4 December 2014. This could see a typical 5 year fixed rate mortgage fall from 5.2% to 3.9% from any of the above three lenders. If you are an AIB customer and want to find out more, please click here.
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Yet another increase in price for public transport as the National Transport Authority approve a rise in public transport fares of up to 28%. Bus Eireann, larnrod Eireann and the Luas plan to increase their monthly fares from this Saturday. Cash ticket rises will take place from 1 December and this will include all Dublin buses. The good news is, that Leap card users will see daily and weekly caps put in place until 2015 and may even see a reduction of around 4% on off peak fares. The chief exec of the National Transport Authority, Mr Gerry Murphy said that the fare increase are to ensure that the quality of service can be maintained. Why not give us your views on the price hikes? You can find more information on the Leap Card at www.leapcard.ie.
Groupon set to create up to 200 new jobs in Dublin. The e-commerce company is set to invest heavily in a new research and development center in the capital. The US multinational company started in 2009 and now operates in over 48 countries worldwide. Groupon offers discounted vouchers for use by the public at retailers across the country. The company plans to take on a further 100 highly skilled staff to bring it’s Irish base total to 200 employees. The project is well backed by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland. You can find more information on the job opportunities at IDA Ireland. Let us know your thoughts on these new jobs and the Irish job market as a whole.
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Hauliers from across Ireland came together this morning in a protest against tax costs and formed a four hour road block at Dublin Port which caused major disruption throughout the city. The Irish Road Haulage Association is threatening that more strikes will be held unless the Government take immediate action. It costs a whopping €4,000 to tax a six-axle truck in Ireland compared to just £640 in the North. These excessive road tax levels simply aren’t feasible for our lorry drivers and the Minister of Transport Paschal Donohoe has promised to meet with lorry drivers and members of the IRHA in the coming weeks.
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Bad news if you own and drive a Lexus that was manufactured between 2006 and 2010 in Ireland as 514 cars in Ireland are set to be recalled for remedial work. The models affected will be the Lexus IS250, IS-F, GS 450 H and LS. This forms part of a 1.75 million vehicle recall worldwide by Japanese carmaker Toyota over concerns about faulty brake and fuel delivery issues. Earlier this year Toyota issued a recall of 6.4 million cars worldwide over problems with airbags and windscreen wipers. Consumer confidence in Toyota is at an all time low.
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