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The Minister for Finance is to bring forward proposals to Government to gradually cap the interest rates that moneylenders can charge. At present, moneylenders are allowed to charge interest rates with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of up to 187%. Interest rate caps on moneylending are in place in 21 EU countries, including Germany, France…

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Household net worth reached a record high of €855bn in the final quarter of last year due to an increase in deposits and savings, according to new data from the Central Bank. Household net worth rose by 2.9% or €24bn in the final three months of the year. Household savings continued to increase, up by…

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New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the Covid-19 crisis continues to have a significant impact on the labour market here in April. The CSO said that the standard measure of Monthly Unemployment stood at 5.8% in April. But it added that its Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment indicates a jobless rate as…

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Activity in the services sector accelerated to hit a 14-month high in April as the country began a gradual loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, a survey showed today. The Government last week said it would press ahead with plans to reopen all retail stores, personal services and non-residential construction in May. Hotels, restaurants and bars will…

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Discussions on how to stop financial investment companies buying large sections of housing estates are likely to continue across Government departments today. Taoiseach Micheál Martin has pledged that the Government will immediately deal with what he termed the “unacceptable” situation where first-time buyers are being forced to compete with institutional investors for homes. The shortage…

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The Exchequer recorded a deficit of €7.6bn in April, up from €7.5bn at the same time last year. The deterioration is down to increases in current expenditure. Despite this, tax receipts in the month were 8% higher than expected, driven mainly by higher levels of income tax. Taxes overall were 20.3% or €519m higher than…

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The Government’s proposed new housing legislation will include a plan to cap the price of affordable housing using seven different rates across the country. This will apply to the shared equity scheme where the State would take a stake of up to 30% in a home to keep the price affordable. The first-time buyer would…

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The number of people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment has dipped below 400,000 for the first time this year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Social Protection. 385,211 recipients will receive the payment this week, at a cost of €114.1 million. The total cost of the scheme launched on 16 March 2020…

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€5m is to be made available to help businesses upgrade their websites to boost opportunities in online retail. The latest round of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is open to applications from today. The scheme, which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, is targeted at Irish-based retailers with a physical store and a pre-existing online…

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