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Syndicated News Archives - Page 13 of 267 - Ansell Ryan Young

Comment: Hiking VAT on tourism would raise Brexit stakes

Each year, at about this time, there is a lot of speculation about the 9pc tourism VAT rate and whether it will be retained in October’s Budget to be delivered by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Each year, at about this time, there is a lot of speculation about the 9pc tourism VAT rate and whether it will be retained in October’s Budget to be delivered by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

So will the 9pc rate be kept this year? Or will it return to the rate of 13.5pc, which was last in effect in 2011? The truth is that no one knows for sure and in reality it will probably be a late decision made by Cabinet running up to Budget day.

Referring to the 9pc rate as a “preferential” rate or a VAT “subsidy”, as some commentators do, is an inaccurate analysis. Often this is followed by a spurious reference to the “cost” of the measure whereas in fact the tourism VAT rate has been massively beneficial to the Exchequer. According to the Revenue’s own figures, in the first full year of the 9pc VAT rate (2012) income to the Exchequer was €630m; in 2018 the income is anticipated to be €1.04bn as a result of the increased activity in the sector. So rather than being a cost, the 9pc tourism VAT rate is extraordinarily good for the national coffers.

The fact is that Ireland’s tourism VAT rate is finally in line with the rest of Europe – 16 of 19 eurozone countries have tourism VAT rates of 10pc or less so Ireland, in this rare case, is fully competitive with other destinations. To increase the rate would make us less competitive at a period of uncertainty with Brexit around the corner. It would add cost to the system at the very time when we need to keep a close eye on our value for money ratings.

The latest wheeze being considered, supposedly in response to Dublin hotel rates which have risen as tourist demand outstrips the supply of new hotels, is some sort of a two-tier VAT where bigger hotels pay a higher rate than smaller ones.

How this might work, or even how many bedrooms defines a “bigger” hotel, is difficult to see and crucially there is a real danger that an increased VAT rate will have damaging knock-on consequences for the pipeline of new hotels that are finally being delivered; 5,000 new bedrooms in Dublin alone over the next three years according to CBRE. These hotels are vital in order to add capacity and accommodate growth and crucially will mean demand and supply are in sync, moderating any future consumer price increases.

Any further increase in costs is likely to depress demand and damage Ireland’s largest indigenous sector. The tourism industry – hotels, attractions, restaurants, B&Bs, caravan and camping sites, activity providers and many others – can rightly point to the fact that, since its introduction seven years ago, the 9pc VAT rate has helped tourism and hospitality businesses create thousands of jobs. Recent analysis by the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) shows a remarkable 79,100 jobs have been created in the tourism and hospitality sector since 2011.


The good news is 68pc of those new jobs are outside of Dublin and in the regions. No other industry can come close to this sort of performance and if tourism is the great regional jobs producer then surely it should be supported and nurtured with appropriate taxation and investment policies.

Earlier this year, ITIC produced an eight-year roadmap for the sector entitled ‘Tourism: An Industry Strategy for Growth to 2025’, within which tourism is set ambitious goals to grow overseas earnings by 65pc. However, that is only possible with a number of enabling factors in place and one of those is the retention of the competitive 9pc VAT rate. Now is not the time to meddle with a successful formula that has worked so well and has so much more to offer.

And back to Brexit, that great external shock that risks knocking Ireland’s wider economy off kilter. ITIC’s analysis identifies that a hard Brexit will cost Irish tourism €260m in its immediate aftermath. That is some knock, and tourism is uniquely exposed to Brexit with 40pc of all international visitors coming from Britain.

Soft, hard or medium-boiled, Brexit won’t be good for Irish tourism and Mr Donohoe must be mindful of this when he delivers the Budget. The 9pc VAT policy has been unambiguously positive on a variety of fronts – jobs, regional balance, Exchequer receipts, industry growth. Leave well enough alone, minister.

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Contactless card payments increase

Consumers are turning more to debit cards and contactless payments, according to the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).

In the past three years, the number of debit-card transactions has increased rapidly in Ireland, the CBI said in its latest quarterly bulletin.

There is also some tentative evidence to suggest that the increase in their use has come at the expense of credit cards and cash transactions.

The rise in popularity of debit-card transactions is due to the increasing availability of contactless-enabled payment terminals and contactless debit cards.

Last year, contactless transactions accounted for just over 80pc of the 152 million increase in payment volumes, according to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland’s latest ‘Payments Monitor’.

While contactless payments may be on the increase, the average payment per contactless transaction remained small at €12.24 in the final quarter of 2017, and, according to the CBI, this figure has remained stable.

Debit cards account for almost all contactless transactions, indicating an increasing use of debit cards for small-value payments where previously consumers may have used cash. In addition, there has been a marked slowdown in the volume and value of ATM withdrawals since 2016.

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Businesses failing to prepare despite no-deal Brexit fear

The vast majority of Irish businesses still do not have a Brexit plan in place, despite 70pc of firms expecting the UK’s departure from the EU to have a negative impact on Ireland’s economy.

AIB’s Brexit Sentiment index for the second quarter found that the manufacturing, retail and tourism sectors here were the most negative about Brexit.

Just 6pc of 500 businesses surveyed in the Republic of Ireland had a plan in place. In Northern Ireland, the figure was just 5pc.

The index found that larger businesses were more likely to have a plan, while the impact on the economy and potential tariffs were the main concerns for businesses in the Republic.

AIB’s head of business banking Catherine Moroney said it was “critical” for businesses to plan for the worst now.

“When businesses do seek financing, one of the key questions we in AIB ask them about is their Brexit-readiness and the potential impact Brexit may have on their business in a harder-line Brexit scenario,” she said.

Ms Moroney said the bank was launching a new credit-check service to help customers who were looking to increase their export reach.

Provided in association with Euler Hermes, the bank will allow customers a free risk assessment on five potential or existing overseas clients.

The idea is to provide greater peace of mind by gauging the likelihood that the overseas clients will pay their bills.

“Our local Brexit advisers are in place to support and assist businesses to navigate through Brexit and I encourage businesses to contact their local AIB to discuss how we can support their Brexit-readiness,” Ms Moroney said.

The bank also has a €122m allocation of funds as part of the Government’s Brexit loan scheme.

AIB found that in the Republic, food and drink businesses were most likely to have a plan in place (11pc), followed by tourism (9pc) and then transport (7pc).

AIB chief economist Oliver Mangan said the index’s readings in terms of sentiment had been fairly stable over recent surveys.

“This is reflective of the lack of any major new developments over the survey period in the Brexit process. While a somewhat limited proportion of SMEs are reporting a negative impact on business now, the lack of progress and clarity in relation to Brexit and the uncertainty is also evident in the survey results,” he said.

“Indeed, in the Republic of Ireland, the negative headline reading is being driven by concerns regarding the impact on business in the future and on the wider economic impact.”

Talks will resume between Dominic Raab, Britain’s Brexit secretary, and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, in Brussels tomorrow.

Mr Raab will give a speech on Thursday setting out the UK government’s plans for a no-deal.

“Securing a deal is still by far the most likely outcome, but we want to make sure that we clearly set out the steps that people, businesses and public services need to take in the unlikely event that we don’t reach an agreement,” he said.

Britain will recognise some EU regulations in the event of a no-deal Brexit to ensure that the country does not grind to a halt, the ‘Telegraph’ reported over the weekend.

Government papers setting out what will happen if the UK leaves without a deal make clear that Britain will adopt a “flexible” approach to ensure that EU medicines, car parts and chemicals are still available in the UK.

The approach will, however, leave the UK open to claims that it is giving up some negotiating strength by agreeing to accept EU goods without ensuring that British goods will be accepted on the Continent. (Additional reporting © Daily Telegraph, London)

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This is a frightening prospect for the thousands who have worked in Britain

In common with many people in this country, both my parents worked in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.

My late father spent 10 years as a radio officer in the British merchant navy. For this he got a good defined benefit pension when he hit 65. He was also entitled to a British state pension.

My mother, a nurse, did her midwifery training in Scotland and worked there when she was qualified as a midwife. This entitles her to a British state pension. She gets a sterling amount paid into her AIB bank account here every month, and we file a tax return for this, for her, every November.

There are thousands of people in this country who are in receipt of pensions from their time working in bars, on the roads, in the hospitals, on the buses and in the offices of England, Scotland and Wales.

It is known that around 120,000 Irish people are in receipt of a British state pension.

Many more are entitled to one but may not be drawing it down because they are not aware they could get it.

There are no clear figures on the numbers also getting private pensions paid to them, which would include both Irish and British nationals.

Now it has emerged that Brexit poses a threat to these pension arrangements.

A leading pension provider has written to its Ireland-based members warning them it may no longer be able to make payments into bank accounts in this country once the UK leaves the European Union, which is scheduled for next March.

The Association of British Insurers has issued similar warnings.

The insurer, Pension Insurance Corporation, has explained that it is currently using EU “passporting” arrangements that allows British firms to provide financial services, such as paying a pension overseas, to anywhere in the EU.

It advises its members

here to open a UK bank account. But that is not something that is possible if you do not have a UK address.

This is a frightening prospect.

It means people here may no longer have their pension paid into an Irish bank account. Instead, the payments would be paid into a UK bank, which they will not be able to access unless they have a UK account.

As this issue is set to affect retired British people living in the EU, the hope is a last-minute deal will be done to sort it out.

Although there has been a lot of incompetence shown in the UK’s Brexit preparations so far, sense will just have to prevail and a deal of some sort will be done.

It could be that pension cheques will be posted here for a period if a deal is not done by the time Brexit happens.

For now though, there is no need to panic.

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Rents hits record-high as it’s now €274 more per month than Celtic Tiger peak

THE monthly cost of renting a home has hit an all-time high, shooting up by an average €200 in some parts of the capital in just the space of a year

New figures from today lay bare the dilemma facing families who would be better off financially if they bought a home.

But difficulties with saving a deposit or securing a mortgage, or a shortage of properties to buy, continue to haunt the housing market.

It means many are locked into a life of renting, while rents are still furiously spiralling.

The average national cost of renting nationwide in the three months to June was €1,300 a month, a rise of €274 a month on the previous peak, which came just after the boom in 2008. The cost of paying the landlord is now €560 more a month than the low in the rental market seen in late 2011.

Costs have been rising now at double-digit rates for more than two years.

But rents are even higher in Dublin, where there has been an average annual increase of 13.4pc. The cost of renting in the capital is now up almost €500 on a decade ago, a surge of 34pc.

It is now around €2,000 a month for accommodation in parts of Dublin.

Many areas of the capital have seen average rents go up by about €200 in the past year.

Using the latest figures, Brokers Ireland calculated that the difference between rent and mortgage costs can now be negligible.

Rachel McGovern, director of financial service at Brokers Ireland, said it displays, in stark terms, just how seriously would be home owners are losing out financially.

She said it “demonstrates that for anyone with a medium to long-term interest in living in Ireland, it’s a no-brainer that owning a home as opposed to renting one is financially the most prudent financial option – that is if you can acquire a suitable property”.

“Home ownership achieved at an affordable price is central to the growth of personal wealth over the longer term.

“The lack of suitable properties available for purchase is a travesty, it is a policy failure that will have long-term implications.”

The frightening new figures also come as thousands of students will be scrambling for accommodation ahead of the new academic year and on the back of Leaving Cert results.

Student unions said young people would be forced out of third-level education due to the rental crisis.

There was a chink of good news in the report, with a slight rise in the number of properties for rent. There were 3,070 properties available nationwide on August 1.

This marks an increase of almost 5pc on the same figure a year ago.

However, aside from this month, the total availability is the lowest on record going back to 2006.

The small increase nationally was driven by Dublin, where availability improved from 1,121 to 1,397 comparing August with a year ago.

Elsewhere, availability continues to fall.

Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the report, said the building of new homes appears to be having some effect in the housing sales market.

However, that is not reflected in the rental sector.

“While urban apartments make up almost all the net need for new homes in the country as a whole, just 13pc of new homes completed in the year to March were urban apartments. This means it was unsurprising to see rents rise once more.”

Across the country, there are even higher percentage rises than in Dublin, although from a lower cost base.

Outside the five main cities, rents rose by an average of 10pc.

In the rest of the country, it now costs €909 a month to rent a property to live in.

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Banks no longer using SBCI’s SME loan scheme

The country’s main banks have stopped using a State fund set up to channel low cost finance to SMEs, because lenders can access cheap money in their own right, the Irish Independent has learned.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) was set up to ensure favourable loan rates reached SMEs, by funnelling State-sourced money through the banks, who could then pass on the benefits. Irish SMEs pay some of the highest borrowing costs in Europe.

But SBCI chairman Conor O’Kelly – also chief executive of the National Treasury Management Agency – said banks were bypassing the SBCI because they have access to low interest rates on the open market.

The comments are contained in a letter to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and released under Freedom of Information rules.

“We have previously reported that the prevailing low interest rate environment has diminished the SBCI’s financial advantage for banks,” the letter states.

“This has been evident of late among the SBCI’s bank on-lenders, as Bank of Ireland has prepaid €50m of its loan facility, and Allied Irish Banks and Ulster Bank have fully deployed their facilities and are not seeking further loan facilities at present,” Mr O’Kelly’s letter says.

The SBCI also has a number on non-bank entities on board to take money and pass it on. The letter, dated September 22 of last year, said the SBCI was “committed to developing its pipeline of non-bank on-lenders to continue driving choice for SMEs”. However it has not secured a new on-lender since November of 2016.

Initially the lenders were responsible for repaying the SBCI, but the State body then went on to develop so-called “risk-sharing” products, where it is also on the hook if loans go bad.

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Digital advertising spend outstrips TV in US as UK print revives

Spend on digital advertising has overtaken that of television in the United States for the first time.

Last year, internet advertising revenues in the United States hit $88bn (€77bn), an increase of 21pc on the previous year, according to the latest ‘Internet Advertising Revenue’ report from professional services firm PwC and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

In comparison, television advertising fell 2.6pc year-on-year to $70bn (€61.5bn) in 2017.

A main driver of the increase in internet advertising has been a shift to mobile. Spending on advertising delivered to mobile devices totalled $49.9bn in 2017 in the US, a 36pc increase from the prior year, as marketers target larger numbers of consumers through their mobile phones.

“Consumers are increasingly spending a tremendous amount of time with interactive screens and content, from mobile to desktop and audio, and brands are in lockstep with a growing commitment to digital ad buys,” said Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the IAB.

“Mobile captured more than half of the total digital ad spend last year and we can expect that share to continue to climb.”

Advances in technology are driving the growth in the industry, with greater internet access and speed of connection all cited as factors behind the growth.

From a marketer’s perspective, the digital ad industry claims it can apply analytics and artificial intelligence to massive volumes of data and so better target end users.

While advertising delivered on mobile devices now makes up 56.7pc of total internet advertising revenues and is charging ahead in the digital online spend, desktop revenues rose far less quickly – up 5.8pc to $38.1bn, the report found.

Search revenues and video revenues represented the bulk of the internet advertising revenue last year, making up 46pc and 31pc of internet advertising revenue respectively. Looking forward, the report suggests that new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, virtual reality, and voice-based systems will create new opportunities for growth within the advertising industry. “Continued advances in AI and data and analytics will enable companies to create more personalised experiences than what we see today,” David Silverman of PwC said.

The IAB report utilises data and information from companies selling advertising on the internet, public corporate data, survey responses and interviews with industry participants.

Despite the strong performance in digital advertising in the US, in the UK there are signs of a revival in print advertising.

In the first three months of 2018, ad revenue for UK national news brands rose for the first time in seven years, according to the UK’s Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report.

The strong start to the year in newspaper advertising follows a good final quarter in 2017, reversing the seven-year downturn in display revenue, according to the report.

The UK numbers also show TV also posted relatively healthy growth of 5pc. Total internet spend rose 10.8pc – with search engine spending accounting for over half of the gain.

“Online ad formats – particularly search and social media – continue to overperform, but traditional media are also proving their worth to advertisers”, said James McDonald, WARC’s Data Editor.

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China vows to control debt despite fresh stimulus for cooling economy

China’s state planner pledged on Wednesday to keep debt levels under control even as Beijing rolls out fresh stimulus to support the stumbling economy as a trade war with the US deepens.

The comments by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) came a day after China reported surprisingly weak data that showed investment growth has slowed to a record low.

In a bid to stabilise business conditions and weather the trade war, Beijing is stepping up infrastructure spending and injecting more funds into the banking system, which is lowering borrowing costs.

New loans by China’s largely state-backed banks surged 75pc in July from a year earlier.

But some China watchers fear Beijing’s shift in priorities may mark a return to its unrestrained, credit-fuelled growth, reversing years of work by regulators to reduce risks in the financial system and stem a rapid build-up in debt.

NDRC spokesman Cong Liang told a media briefing that new spending on roads, railways, elderly care and education and the elderly will not be as heavy as in the past and will aim to meet real demand, reducing the risk of over-capacity.

Authorities are also hoping to attract private investment in such projects to reduce the government’s debt burden, he said, noting that regulators are relaxing restrictions on local governments’ ability to sell special bonds to fund projects.

Several large rail projects have been announced in just the last few days.


Cong reiterated a pledge made by the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo last month that China will still meet this year’s economic growth target of around 6.5pc, despite the trade war.

Analysts say that will surely require more spending, but Cong maintained that the government will push ahead with its “structural deleveraging” in a gradual and orderly way.

Highlighting the dangers policymakers face in stimulating the slowing economy without fueling asset bubbles, data on Wednesday showed China’s new home prices accelerated at their fastest pace in almost two years in July.

Cong said China would “resolutely curb” property price rises.

“We still have sufficient capacity to cope with impact from escalating trade frictions, and ensure the successful completion of the economic and social development goals set at the beginning of the year,” Cong said.

At the start of this year, China’s leaders had made risk and debt reduction their top priority, even if it led to somewhat slower growth.

That scenario appeared to be playing out roughly to plan earlier in the year, before the trade war erupted, with growth easing only slightly to 6.7pc in the second quarter year-on-year.

Some economists are now cutting their second-half and full-year growth estimates for China in the wake of Tuesday’s weak readings.

While stressing it does not see a hard landing for the world’s second-largest economy, ING said in a note it has trimmed its 2018 forecast to 6.6pc from 6.7pc.

It sees growth cooling to 6.5pc and 6.3pc in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, as tougher US tariffs start to bite.

So far, official data shows trade frictions have had limited impact on the economy, and any impact from higher tariffs will be “controllable”, the NDRC’s Cong said.

Many local governments and state firms are still saddled with debt following China’s massive stimulus during the global financial crisis.

Despite some progress in its risk crackdown in the last few years, China is still among the economies most at risk of a banking crisis, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said earlier this year.

China’s overall debt level rose 2.7pc points in 2017 to 250.3pc of gross domestic product, according to the central bank.

The corporate debt ratio fell 0.7pc points to 159pc of GDP – the first decline since 2011, but the household debt ratio climbed 4 percentage points to 55.1pc of GDP.

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How to manage €13,000 bill for child’s first year in university

Parents of the 120,000 students who get their Leaving Cert results this Wednesday are facing a bill of as much as €12,800 to put their child through their first year in college. It currently costs €12,828 a year to put a child through college – if he or she is living away from home and renting in Dublin for nine months, according to the latest cost of student living survey by the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

That cost falls to €11,829 a year if the student is renting outside Dublin – or to almost €7,000 a year if the student can continue to live at home.

The DIT survey takes into account the cost of rent, utility bills, food, travel, books, clothes, medicine, mobile phones, social life – as well as the student contribution charge. Rent is by far the highest cost faced by students living away from home. The average cost of rent for a student in Dublin is €541 a month, according to DIT. However, if the student were to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Dublin 2, he could expect to pay an average rent of €1,817 a month – based on the findings of Daft’s latest rental report. Rent paid at that €1,817 monthly rate would push up the cost of sending a child to college to €24,300 a year.

As a typical third-level education course runs for either three or four years, the cost of sending a child to college is one of the biggest bills parents will ever face. There are some steps you can take however to keep that bill in check – here are some of them.

Get tax back
At €3,000 per student, per year, the student contribution charge is a big hit to the pocket. The tax relief on tuition fees allows you to claim back up to a fifth of the cost of the student contribution charge – for any second or subsequent children in third-level education. This tax relief is worth €600 if you have two children in full-time third-level education. However, you cannot get tax relief on the student contribution charge if you only have one child in college. You may also be entitled to tax back if you are paying tuition fees for a post-graduate or part-time course – or if your child is repeating the year.

Avoid or limit rent
As it is more than €5,000 cheaper a year for a student to live at home than to pay for rented accommodation, avoid going down the rental route – if it’s feasible and practical to do so. Should your child be facing a four-hour (or more) return trip to college every day, however, renting may be unavoidable. Explore all your options if your child must rent. Should you have a relative living near the college, he or she could earn up to €14,000 tax-free rent a year (under the rent-a-room scheme) by renting out a room in their home to your child.

The cheapest rent is typically available to those who stay in ‘digs’ or who share accommodation. Shop around though. For example, it can cost anything from €450 to €800 a month to rent a room in a house near University College Dublin (UCD) over the student term, according to recently advertised student accommodation. Be aware that some accommodation is only available to rent from Sunday to Thursday nights – with students expected to return home at weekends.

Campus residences may work out cheaper than renting privately – though this isn’t always the case. For example, it costs between €6,629 (about €736 a month) and €11,347 (about €1,260 a month) to rent campus accommodation in UCD from August 30 to May 20, depending on the accommodation chosen. It costs between €5,395 and €5,729 to rent a single room in Dublin City University’s campus accommodation from mid-September to late May.

Remember, it can be difficult to get an offer of campus accommodation – particularly if there is a long waiting list. Should you be considering renting private accommodation, be on the alert for rental scams – make sure the property is genuinely available to rent and that the person advertising the property is not a fraudster.

Grab all discounts
Be sure your child gets all the discounts they’re entitled to, as this should help limit day-to-day living costs – particularly travel. Students usually get discounted travel rates (as well as various other discounts) and may still even qualify for child fares. The child Leap card, for example, can be used up until age 19. This can reduce the weekly cost of travel by over 60pc, according to DIT.

Borrow cheaply
Many parents have to borrow money to fund a child’s third-level education. You could pay twice as much – or thousands of euro more – for a loan than you need to if you don’t shop around for it. For example, it would cost €2,593 to borrow €10,000 from Permanent TSB over four years – through its personal loan. However, it would cost you either €1,302 or €1,510 (depending on whether or not you qualify for the bank’s discounted personal loan interest rate) to borrow the money from KBC Bank instead. Should you qualify for the discounted rate on Ulster Bank’s fixed rate parental loans, it would cost €1,550 to borrow €10,000 over four years; otherwise, it costs €1,759. Bank of Ireland charges 7.5pc interest on a personal loan of €10,000 – which would cost €1,551 in interest over four years.

Along with Permanent TSB, AIB and Avantcard worked out pricey for a four-year personal loan of €10,000. It costs €1,812 to borrow €10,000 over four years through AIB’s personal loan; it would cost €1,854 to borrow the money from Avantcard – as long as you have an excellent credit history. (Avantcard’s personal loans are more expensive for those with poor credit histories).

AIB also offers loans to parents and students seeking to cover the student contribution charge. The interest rate on this loan is 8.45pc.

Don’t rule out your local credit union if you must borrow for college fees as it may work out cheaper than your bank. St Raphael’s Garda Credit Union, for example, offers an education loan with an interest rate of 4.59pc.

Save early
It currently costs €51,000 to send a child to college for four years – assuming they are living away from home and studying in Dublin. The best way to prepare for – and limit the cost of – college bills is to start saving for your child’s third-level education when they are very young.

Should you only have five years to go until your child starts college, you would need to save €807.57 a month to hit a €51,000 target – assuming you’re making a 2pc return on your savings each year, according to figures compiled by Colin Davis, savings specialist in Curran Financial Services. You can’t afford to take much investment risk with your money if you have five or less years to save up for college bills so a 2pc return is probably the best you can expect.

Should you have 10 years to save, you need to save €345.20 a month to hit a €51,000 target – assuming you’re making a 4pc annual return on your investment, according to Davis.

You’d need to save €174.79 every month if you have 15 years to save the money up – assuming your investment is making a 6pc return, according to Davis. “When it comes to saving for your children’s education, the most important thing to do is start early,” said Davis. “Building a fund for a five-year-old is far more affordable than building one for a nine-year-old. Our figures show that you need to save approximately €80 per month more for the nine-year-old than the five-year old to achieve the same target.”

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Brexit negotiations face crunch issues

Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU are due to reconvene on Thursday in Brussels.

The European Union is signalling that it wants to make September a decisive month in the divorce negotiations, while British Prime Minister Theresa May is more in favour of a late-autumn deadline. The talks are expected to continue on Friday.

Tomorrow, China will release its industrial production and retail sales data for July.

Of interest to investors will be the impact, if any, of US sanctions on the figures.

Meanwhile back home, KBC Bank Ireland, along with the ESRI, will release the Consumer Sentiment Index for July today.

Glenveagh Properties is due to hold an extraordinary general meeting today, where the company will ask shareholders to formally approve its recent funding round of €213m.

Tomorrow, the Central Statistics Office will release the residential property price index for June. This will be followed on Wednesday by the release of the imports and exports data from the CSO.

Looking ahead, the outcome of an internal investigation into FBD boss Fiona Muldoon could become known shortly.

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