During the debate over the banking crisis, the Government resolutely refused to go down the road of nationalising any of the major financial institutions but when the financial markets open tomorrow (Monday), the State will be the biggest shareholder in the Bank of Ireland.
Ever heard of the “bric markets”? No, they have nothing to do with the construction industry collapse or the building bubble. They are, in fact, the fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China and according to the Sunday Times, the IDA is to focus on them for green-field investment in a new programme to be announced next month.
In order to sell Nama to its membership last year, the Green Party came up with a plan to establish an expert group that would help people struggling with personal or mortgage debt. The intention was that the group would issue recommendations on measures to assist people in debt arrears within a matter of months. The plan, which the Green leadership dubbed “My Nama”, was included in the revised Programme for Government and it looks as if it is now about to get the green light.
It’s not much fun being a tax man these days. Who to screw is a serious question. The fat-cat population is diminishing at rapid rate. The amount of tax collected from the country’s wealthiest individuals is now a third of what it was in 2007, when the Irish property market started to collapse.
Accountants, tax advisers and banks will be forced to whistle-blow on clients or potential clients involved in tax avoidance schemes under new plans being finalised by the Government. They will be automatically forced to inform the Revenue Commissioners of schemes that exploit tax loopholes and allow wealthy individuals to slash their tax bills.