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Home renovation scheme will create local construction jobs



Labour Party TD for Galway West, Derek Nolan, has said the new home renovation tax relief scheme will create jobs in the local construction sector.

In Galway alone, thousands of jobs in that sector were lost when the property market collapsed.

“The announcement in the Budget of a home renovation tax relief for households who use registered tradesmen was an innovative and welcome initiative.

“This tax relief will be available for the next two years and will cover home renovations costing between €5,000 and €30,000 and most importantly, incentivises homeowners to only use tax-compliant tradespeople.

“The new tax relief will stimulate jobs in the construction industry in Ireland, giving those in long-term unemployment the opportunity to get back to work. 

“The economic recession in this country – the result of a severely inflated property market – meant that thousands of jobs were lost in the construction sector.

“This initiative seeks to address this problem, making the hiring of registered carpenters, tilers, builders, electricians and plumbers, among others, a more attractive option for householders.

“The measure will help tackle the loss of €5 billion to the black economy each year. Illegal activity in the black economy can cripple legitimate businesses by giving cost advantages to those who avoid tax, don’t pay proper wages or contribute to society.

“This proposal will reduce Ireland’s growing black economy and divert money back into the Exchequer,” said Deputy Nolan.

The scheme runs from January 1 next until the end of December 2015. It provides for a tax credit at 13.5% for homeowners on repair, renovation or improvement work to your home.

In order for you to qualify for this sceme, there are a number of criteria that must be met:

• The work must cost a minimum of €5,000 (ex. VAT), which would attract a credit of €675. Where the cost of the work exceeds €30,000 (ex. VAT), a maximum credit of €4,050 will apply. The credit is payable over the two years following the year in which the work is carried out.

• Qualifying expenditure is expenditure subject to the 13.5% VAT rate.

• The works undertaken commenced on or after January 1, 2014 and finished before December 31, 2015.

• Repair, renovation or improvement work to a principal private residence, which is subject to VAT at 13.5%, is covered. Items such as furniture, white goods and carpets are not covered.

• Any improvements to your home will not affect the valuation of your property for Local Property Tax purposes (the LPT payment will stay the same until 2016, no matter what improvements you make to your property).

• The tax credit is only available to the owner occupier.

• Owner occupiers of a principal private residence who are tax compliant are eligible however, the homeowner’s LPT and Household Charge must be up to date.

• Building Contractors who are tax compliant are eligible to carry out work under the scheme.

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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