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Cost of running a household up 5% over the past year



Conor Faughnan: Director of Consumer Affairs with AA.

The average cost of running a household in Ireland has reached almost €16,500 – almost half the average national wage – according to a newly-published report.

The AA’s ‘Annual Cost of Running a Home’ study has recorded a 5% increase on last year, which had been attributed to the significant rise in house prices nationally over the last year.

Director of Consumer Affairs with AA, Conor Faughnan said: “Our calculations are based on a typical Irish house and include costs for mortgage payments, energy and heating, repairs and maintenance.

“The recent surge in house prices affects the 2014 figures. This is partly off-set however by the fact that the typical Irish house has become more energy-efficient.

“The average price of a secondhand house in Ireland during the third quarter of this year was €193,000, up from €170,000 during the same period last year.

“As a result, those who a bought a home during July and September this year are shelling out just shy of €900 more per annum on average on their mortgage repayments compared to their counterparts who bought during the same quarter last year.

“While €900 is a stark increase, recent homebuyers are still dramatically better off each month on average than those who bought a home when property prices were at their peak in 2007.

“At that time the average national house price was €344,000, more than double current prices. As a result, those who bought their home during the peak on average hand over €5,580 more each year on their mortgage repayments alone than those who have recently bought a home,” said Mr Faughnan.

The AA calculates that it will cost €22,012 for those who purchased their home in 2007 to run their homes this year, €6,356 (39%) more than those who bought a new home in the third quarter of this year.

“While you’re locked into certain costs such as your TV licence, mortgage repayments and property tax you can certainly look for better value when it comes to the services you consume.

“When there are multiple players in the market – be it waste collection, electricity or insurance – they are all vying for your business so make sure to shop around and get a good sense of what each is offering,” said Mr Faughnan.

Arriving at the average figure of €16,432 for the year, the AA also factored in a fund for home maintenance and repairs, household cleaning products and the replacement of household appliances in accordance with their warranty periods.

In addition, the average costs of home phone and broadband, a basic digital TV package, the TV licence, the property tax and bin charges were also factored in.

Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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