Home > Uncategorized > UPDATE:SUPER-RICH IRISH AWASH WITH MONEY!

UPDATE:SUPER-RICH IRISH AWASH WITH MONEY!

(SEE ALSO on this Blog:  Tax Evasion by Irish Rich    http://wp.me/pKzXa)

Sunday Times Irish Rich List

Wealth of Richest 300 Irish up 2.7% (2.1 BillionEuro) in 1 year to 79 Billion

On Average Each Has  263 million    Each Paid 400 Euro less in Income Tax

“Ten years after the BANKING CRISIS , Ireland’s rich are wealthier than ever”.

– A strong performance over the past 12 months has lifted the combined fortune of Ireland’s 300 richest to €79 BILLION , up 2.7% on last year, according to today’s Sunday Times Irish Rich List.

– The entry point has JUMPED by a RECORD €12m to €52m.

– After strong economic growth in the Republic, it now has one of the HIGHEST proportions of euro BILLIONAIRES per head of population.
There are 16 members of the super-rich club — one more than last year — representing one euro billionaire for EVERY 313,000 people.

– That is almost TWICE the proportion of people with similar wealth in more affluent countries such as Kuwait, the US and Sweden.

– While almost a third of Ireland’s richest 300 are either from or based in Dublin, there is evidence of an increasing spread of wealth.

– The capital still accounts for more than 40% of Ireland’s wealth, however, with five billionaires and 88 Irish Rich List millionaires boasting combined fortunes of €31.67bn.

– The majority of multi-millionaires on the list saw the GROWTH in their wealth outpace the 4.9% domestic economic growth.

– This was due to the buoyant global stock markets, the explosion in value of internet technologies, strong PROPERTY-value growth and buoyant domestic spending.

Court Watch Ireland-I spy with my little Eye

Super-Rich Will Have a Super-Happy New Year  2018!!!

The richest top ten  in the Sunday Independent Rich List 2018 increased their fortunes by over €2bn in total over the past year.

The ten wealthiest have a collective estimated worth of just over €50bn compared with €47.9bn in the 2017 Rich List.

The Sunday Independent Rich LIST 2018

The List Ranks Personal Wealth of Individuals not of Companies

 Denis O’Brien remains at  No 4 in 2018 with  personal wealth of 2.75 billion.  He has regained 100 million of the 200 million which he lost in 2016. John Magnier, owner of Coolmore Stud , retains his ranking of 7. He has gained 150 million on his 2017 figure.   

I have confined the comparisons below to well known Irish rich Personalities

The “Super Eight” below have made a tax free gain of 76 million each on average over the last two years!!!

                                                     Super Eight PERSONAL  WEALTH

Rank                                                     2018       (2017)   (2016)          change from 2017

2018 (2017)

4     (4)   DenisO’Brien                       2.75         2.65         2.85                 +100m

7     (7) John Magnier                          2.3bn (2.2bn)(2.2bn)                + 150m

8   (9)   JP McManus Finance          2.1bn (€2bn)(€1.85bn )                +140m

9   (10)Dermot Desmond Finance 2.04 bn(€1.8bn)(€1.56bn)            +240m

11  (11) Martin Naughton Industry 1.65 bn €1.6bn(€1.5bn)               +50m

 13   (12 )    Paul Coulson Industry    1.45bn (€1.5bn)(€840m)                -50m

 17 (13)      Ellis Short Finance          1.1 bn(€1.1bn)(€1.05bn)                 no change

16   (14)Michael O’Leary Transport  1.15bn (€1.1bn)(€1.08bn)           +50m

Totals          2018   13.54 Billion;     2017    13.3Billion ;    2016  12.93

Gain From 2017:0.24 billion =240,000,000      30 million each on average!

Gain From 2016:  0.61 billion=610,000,000      76 million each on average!  

These are Tax Free Gains

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Almost 22,000 Irish People Have Incomes Between 200,000 Euro and 2 million Euro Per Year!!!-Minister for Finance

They All Got The Same Tax Relief as a Person earning 70,000 Euro per annum in the last two budgets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s 300 richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The Richest 12 gained 6 billion of this.It was was a Tax Free Gain

 TOP 10% of financial asset holders now have  €35 billion above what they had at peak boom levels in 2006. (CSO)

  3,334 Persons in the Private sector earn more than the current salary of top RTE earner Ryan-Tubridy on Euro 495,000?

PQ Reply By Minister For Finance Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD

(These earnings have increased substantially since Noonans Reply)

Summary  (In 2013, After Budget 2012)

Between Euro  200,000 per year and over 2million per year   Number of Income Recipients=    21,864

Top 10,000 have average income of 595,000 per year (vast majority in private sector

Top 10,000     Total Income per year= €5.959Billion   Average Income per year   €595,900

Number earning over   0.5 million= 3,334

Number earning over  €1 million=657

Number Earning over  €2 million=120

Comment from Tomboktu on Cedar Lounge Revolution

In 2015 (the last year for which the data is published), 23,698 ‘tax units’ had gross taxable incomes of over €200,000.

Of those tax units, 10,201 were couples and 13,497 were single people (including widows and widowers, which the Revenue Commissioners still list separately — as in, a separate row for widows and a separate row for widowers*).

And of the 10,201 couples, 7,289 were both earning.

The data is available at http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?maintable=RVA01&PLanguage=0

TOMBOKTU, Cedar Lounge Revolution  DEC 31,2017 

SHOCK!! RTE MENTIONED THAT INDIVIDUALS EARN MILLIONS IN PRIVATE SECTOR  FOR FIRST TIME IN YEARS!

RTE  Commercial Director ,Willie O’Reilly, WAS DEFENDING THE SALARIES OF ITS TOP 10 BROADCASTERS

These are numbers 9 to 15 on the Irish Rich List . Figure in Brackets is for April 2016 -1 year earlier. Denis O’Brien is No 4-but his net worth has decreased.                                      JP McManus Finance €2bn(€1.85bn )
Dermot Desmond Finance €1.8bn(€1.56bn)
Martin Naughton Industry €1.6bn(€1.5bn)
Paul Coulson Industry €1.5bn(€840m))
Shane Smith Technology €1.41bn(€700m))
Ellis Short Finance €1.1bn(€1.05bn)
Michael O’Leary Transport €1.1bn(€1.08bn)
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Michael Noonan Sold Shares in Then State-Owned Bank of Ireland For a Song to Wilbur Ross. Ross then walked off with Hundreds of Millions When he Sold The Shares On!! Did he invest it in Russian Oil and Make another Fortune?

 Irish Times :”Mr Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, sold his stake in Bank of Ireland – bought shortly after Ireland entered and EU/IMF bailout programme – in June 2014 for almost half a billion euros, three times what he paid for it.”

Paradise Papers: Former Bank of Ireland investor Wilbur Ross benefits from Putin link

Sasha Chavkin and Martha M. Hamilton, Irish Times, Sunday, November 5, 2017, 17:55

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur L Ross Jr has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions every year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the US Treasury Department as a member of Putin’s inner circle.

Mr Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, sold his stake in Bank of Ireland – bought shortly after Ireland entered and EU/IMF bailout programme – in June 2014 for almost half a billion euros, three times what he paid for it.

He divested most of his business assets before joining US President Donald Trump’s cabinet in February but kept a stake in the shipping firm, Navigator Holdings Ltd, which is incorporated in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. Offshore entities in which Mr Ross and other investors hold a financial stake controlled 31.5 per cent of the company in 2016, according to Navigator’s latest annual report.

Among Navigator’s largest customers, contributing over $68 million in revenue since 2014, is the Moscow-based gas and petrochemicals company Sibur. Two of its key owners are Kirill Shamalov, who is married to Mr Putin’s youngest daughter, and Gennady Timchenko, the sanctioned oligarch whose activities in the energy sector, the US Treasury Department said, were “directly linked to Putin.”

A ship belonging to Navigator Holdings Ltd
A ship belonging to Navigator Holdings Ltd

Another powerful owner is Sibur’s largest shareholder, Leonid Mikhelson, who controls an energy company that was also sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for propping up Mr Putin’s rule.

US-Russia tension

As commerce secretary, Mr Ross has a direct authority over trade and manufacturing policy and is an influential voice in the government on virtually any aspect of the US economic relationship with other countries, including Russia. In recent years, tensions between the United States and Russia have escalated, with the United States imposing sanctions against Russia after its 2014 invasion of Crimea and its interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In the aftermath of the election, investigations by Congress and the US Department of Justice have explored potential business ties between Russia and members of President Trump’s administration. While several of Trump’s campaign and business associates have come under scrutiny, until now no business connections have been reported between senior Trump administration officials and members of Putin’s family or inner circle.

During his confirmation process, Mr Ross was asked repeatedly about his business ties to Russia, mostly related to his former role as vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, which has a long history of financing Russian oligarchs. “The United States Senate and the American public deserve to know the full extent of your connections with Russia and your knowledge of any ties between the Trump Administration, Trump Campaign, or Trump Organisation and the Bank of Cyprus,” a group of five Democratic senators wrote to Mr Ross after the hearing but prior to his confirmation. Mr Ross responded briefly to a question submitted for the hearing, saying the Russians who invested in the bank “were not my partners,” but didn’t respond to the senators’ letter.

He was also asked about his shipping holdings and whether they could pose a conflict of interest with his duties at the US Department of Commerce. But he faced no questions about Navigator – where he once was chairman of the board – and its relationship with Sibur.

Sibur is “a company with crony connections,” said Daniel Fried, a Russia expert who served in senior State Department posts in both Republican and Democratic administrations. “Why would any officer of the US government have any relationship with a Putin crony?”

Another of Navigator’s major customers is PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company owned by the authoritarian regime of Nicolas Maduro. The Trump administration sanctioned one current and one former executive at PDVSA in July 2017, and sanctioned the company itself the next month.

Commerce and conflict

The commerce secretary’s indirect business connection with Mr Putin’s son-in-law and oligarch allies emerges from an examination of public records and a leak of millions of offshore financial documents from the Bermuda law firm Appleby obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its global network of media partners, including The Irish Times. The project is called the Paradise Papers. They represent the inner workings of Appleby from the 1950s until 2016. The files include documents from Appleby’s corporate services division, which became independent in 2016 under the name Estera.

The leaked files showed a chain of companies and partnerships in the Cayman Islands through which Ross has retained his financial stake in Navigator.

The fact that Mr Ross’s Cayman Islands companies benefit from a firm controlled by Putin proxies raises serious potential conflicts of interest, experts say. As commerce secretary, Mr Ross has the power to influence US trade, sanctions and other policies that could affect Sibur’s owners. Likewise, Sibur’s owners, and through them, Mr Putin himself, could have the ability to increase or decrease Sibur’s business with Navigator even as Mr Ross helps steer US policy.

Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer during the George W Bush administration, said Mr Ross might have to recuse himself from a range of sanctions decisions. He added that while there was no inherent violation in Mr Ross’s holdings, the Navigator arrangement warrants closer scrutiny.

“Apart from those legal issues, I’d be very concerned that someone in the US government was making money from dealing with the Russians, and I’d want to know the facts,” Mr Painter said.

Layers and layers and layers and layers

Before joining the Trump cabinet, the 79-year-old Mr Ross was a titan in the world of private equity, rounding up investors from around the world to put money into troubled companies in the hope of profitably turning them around. When all went well, he and his firm made money not only on their investments and management fees, but also from a compensation system that allows the general partners, who manage private equity funds, to earn 20 per cent of any profits that exceed a certain level.

Many of the private equity funds involved in these investments were created and administered by Appleby, an offshore law firm headquartered in Bermuda. The leaked files offer a window into how Appleby helped his firm, WL Ross & Co, LLC, reap the benefits of offshore havens such as the Cayman Islands, a British territory that permits extraordinary levels of financial secrecy and allows paper companies run from New York and elsewhere to operate there tax-free. In 2015, the Cayman Islands was ranked fifth by the Financial Secrecy Index in its worldwide ratings.

Creating offshore funds organised as corporations can be a major draw for certain investors, by allowing US tax exempt organisations – including huge pension funds and richly endowed universities – to sidestep an Internal Revenue Service rule the requires them to pay taxes on income obtained using borrowed money. They also help attract non-US investors because their names aren’t disclosed to tax authorities in the United States.

General partners in offshore private equity enjoy generous tax breaks in the United States as well, including the ability to count the biggest share of their earnings from the fund as a long-term capital gains, rather than ordinary income. This allows the wealthiest fund managers to reduce their taxes on these earnings from the top US tax rate of 39.6 per cent to 20 per cent.

When he was nominated as commerce secretary, Mr Ross filed an agreement with the federal Office of Government Ethics that said he intended to divest 80 companies and partnerships, but would keep a stake in nine others that held assets in “real estate financing and mortgage lending” and “transoceanic shipping.” The assets were not specified. Even though he had sold WL Ross & Co to Invesco in 2006, he remained active as chair and CEO until resigning to join the cabinet.

His financial disclosure form, also filed with the US Office of Government Ethics, runs to 57 pages and includes a long list under the heading, “Employment Assets & Income and Retirement Accounts.” This list is broken down into sections listing assets that appear to be held by each of Mr Ross’s companies, detailing as many as seven layers of entities between Ross and the assets he holds.

Buried in a multitude of subsections appear four cryptically named Cayman Islands entities that are among those he said he was keeping: WLR Recovery Associates IV DSS AIV, GP; WLR Recovery Associates IV DSS AIV, LP; WLR Recovery Associates V DSS AIV, GP and WLR Recovery Associates V DSS AIV, LP. All four companies are administered by the Appleby law firm. “Navigator Holdings” is listed among the assets these companies held, but, consistent with the format of the disclosure form, no details about the company or its relationship with Sibur are provided.

The complexity of the offshore structures adds legal and reputational distance and obscures the full extent of Ross’s business relationships even as it allows him to profit from them, according to tax and ethics experts consulted by ICIJ.

Mr Ross’s disclosure values his combined current stake in the offshore entities that hold Navigator shares at between $2.05 million to $10.1 million. But it is not certain what his total holdings are because he did not list a value for one of the four entities he retained. It is not apparent why or whether a value was omitted. His share represents a fraction of the entities’ overall 31.5 percent stake in Navigator, which based on the firm’s stock price on Oct. 30, 2017, is worth roughly $179 million.

The value of Mr Ross’s investment could change substantially by the time the funds that hold Navigator shares wind up – and holds a significant upside. If the funds performs well enough, the general partnerships in which he is invested stands to receive 20 per cent of the entire funds’ profits.

In addition, Mr Ross has reported billions in assets to Forbes that did not appear on his government disclosure forms, which he later told the magazine he has placed in trusts that benefit his family members.

“The disclosure requirements weren’t written with Wilbur Ross in mind,” said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University who is an expert on government ethics, “and I don’t think adequately provide the public or a government ethics official with an understanding of the wide variety of financial interests that he has.”

Ross hits a home run

Mr Ross started investing in Navigator in 2011, when WL Ross & Co. acquired a 19.4 per cent stake, and the firm was granted two seats on its board, one of which Ross filled himself early the next year. A few months later, with a bankruptcy court judge’s approval, WL Ross acquired a block of shares from the bankrupt financial services firm Lehman Brothers, becoming Navigator’s majority shareholder.

In November 2013, Navigator went public. Shares that WL Ross had bought for about $8 each were put on the market at $19. Afterwards Mr Ross bragged at a conference for shipping investors that the investment had been “a home run.”

Mr Ross stepped down from Navigator’s board the next year after he became vice chairman of the struggling Bank of Cyprus, which was well known for its dealings with Russian oligarchs. His Navigator board seat was taken by Wendy Teramoto, managing director and partner of WL Ross & Co., who herself stepped down in 2017 to become Ross’ chief of staff at the Commerce Department.

Navigator meets Sibur

About the same time it began selling shares to the public, Navigator struck up a relationship with Sibur, exclusively chartering two liquified petroleum gas carriers to transport Sibur’s growing LPG exports to Europe.

Like many Russian energy companies, Sibur was created by the Russian state. Founded in 1995, the firm produces petrochemical products including LPG, which contains propane and butane and is used for heating appliances, cooking equipment and some motor vehicles. Sibur was bought several years later by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom. In 2010, Gazprom sold Sibur to Mr Timchenko and Mr Mikhelson.

Amos Hochstein, the top US energy diplomat during the Obama administration, said Mikhelson and Timchenko’s trajectories were typical of Russian energy moguls who have grown rich under the public corruption and crony capitalism that are hallmarks of Putin’s long rule.

“This is not John D Rockefeller here,” Mr Hochstein said. “They became close to Putin, loyal to Putin, got state assets and got rich.”

The Russian government continues to favor Sibur. In 2013, a government program helped build Sibur’s $700 million terminal in Ust-Luga, the Baltic port where Navigator ships pick up its LPG exports, deeming it “a project of national importance.”

After Russia’s invasion of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, the United States and other western nations imposed economic sanctions on key Putin allies, including Sibur’s second largest shareholder, Mr Timchenko. A few months later, the United States barred banks from providing long-term financing to a gas company belonging to Sibur’s largest shareholder, Mr Mikhelson.

Sibur itself was not targeted, but western banks, including Bank of America and the Royal Bank of Scotland, backed away from loans to the company, according to news reports.

The Russian government again stepped in to help. In May 2014, a consortium led by a state-run bank affiliated with the energy company Gazprom and a state investment fund bought the Ust-Luga terminal from Sibur and pledged to expand export capacity while allowing Sibur to remain the terminal’s sole exporter of LPG.

In September 2014, with sanctions pressure growing, Mr Timchenko sold a 17 percent stake in Sibur to Mr Shamalov, increasing Mr Putin’s son-in-law’s stake to more than 20 per cent of the company. The purchase by the 32-year-old was financed by a $1.3 billion loan from state-owned Gazprombank. Mr Shamalov later sold part of his stake to other investors, reducing his interest to 3.9 per cent by April 2017 but remaining on Sibur’s board of directors. The Putin son-in-law’s profit or loss on the transactions could not be determined.

“When you start doing business with Russian energy companies like Gazprom and Sibur, you’re not just getting into bed with the company,” said Mr Hochstein, the former State Department energy policy co-ordinator. “You’re getting into bed with the Russian state.”

In 2014, Appleby dropped Mr Mikhelson as a client, declining to manage a company for his private jet because of the sanctions against his businesses, according to the leaked records.

Despite the turmoil, the Navigator-Sibur relationship continued to grow. From 2014 to 2015, the shipper’s revenue from Sibur jumped from 5.3 per cent ($16.2 million) to 9.1 per cent ($28.7 million) of total revenue, making the company one of Navigator’s top five clients, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, before sliding down to 7.9 per cent ($23.2 million) of revenue last year. This year, Navigator doubled the fleet dedicated to Sibur exports, acquiring two new vessels and chartering them to the Russian energy company. The ships were named Navigator Luga and Navigator Yauza, after Russian rivers.

In a conference call with investors in 2016, Navigator CEO David Butters said his company benefited as Sibur made inroads to the European energy market over American competitors.

“Russia is pipelining as much natural gas as needed into Europe, and liquids are being shipped into all areas of the continent in increasing amounts, all in competition with longer haul US exports,” Mr Butters said.

A toast

On November 30th, 2016, hours after being nominated as commerce secretary, Mr Ross celebrated at Gramercy Tavern, a tony Manhattan restaurant, at an event hosted by Navigator Holdings. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, he and Butters both arrived early to the chandeliered private room and had a conversation.

“Your interest is aligned to mine,” Butters recalls Ross saying, according to Bloomberg. “The U.S. economy will grow, and Navigator will be a beneficiary.”

Butters told Bloomberg that as other guests arrived and tucked into sherry-sauce sea bass and pear buckle, they took turns congratulating Ross. “It was like-we have a chance now,” Butters told Bloomberg. “We have a chance to make some differences.”

Making billions from bankruptcies

The son of a lawyer-turned-judge and a school teacher, Mr Ross was raised in suburban New Jersey, and graduated from Yale and Harvard Business School. In the late 1970s, he joined the British investment banking firm Rothschild Group, eventually rising to lead the firm’s bankruptcy advisory practice.

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross speaks during an Economic Club of New York event in New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross speaks during an Economic Club of New York event in New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

He met Donald Trump in 1990, when the future president’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City was experiencing financial trouble, and Mr Ross represented a group of bondholders. Mr Ross engineered a deal that preserved a stake in the company for Mr Trump, reportedly telling disgruntled bondholders that the Trump name was “still very much an asset.” It was a welcome assist for the future president.

In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton appointed Mr Ross to the board of the US-Russia Investment Fund, established by the US government to make investments and promote American business interests in Russia.

In 2000, Mr Ross founded WL Ross & Co., LLC, a New York-based private equity firm that assembles money from investors into funds that invest in struggling companies with the goal of turning them around and selling them for a profit. The new firm quickly thrived. It engineered the purchase of bankrupt American steel producers, then reaped huge profits when the Bush administration imposed a 30 per cent tariff on steel imports in March 2002.

His newly formed International Steel Group went public the following year and was acquired by Luxembourg giant ArcelorMittal in 2005. Mr Ross’ firm went on to invest in other struggling American industries, including textiles in the South and coal in Appalachia. Mr Ross himself gained a reputation as a financier who breathed life into industries others had left for dead.

But his business practices have also drawn criticism for moving American jobs overseas to improve profits. A Reuters’ analysis of US Labor Department statistics found that Mr Ross takeovers resulted in the loss of 2,700 US jobs in car parts, mortgage finance and the textile industry by shifting production abroad, benefiting, among others, Mexico, India, China and Nicaragua.

His private equity firm has also run afoul of securities regulations that require full and candid disclosure in dealing with investors. In August 2016, the SEC announced an enforcement action against WL Ross & Co for overcharging investors for management fees by changing the formula for calculating the fees without telling them. Without admitting or denying wrongdoing, WL Ross agreed to repay $10.4 million to investors and $2.3 million in civil penalties.

Over the years, Mr Ross has climbed to the ranks of America’s wealthiest individuals, with a fortune estimated by Forbes in September 2017 at $2.5 billion, and lived like it. He and his wife own a Palm Beach villa down the road from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, another house in Southampton, NY, and a third home in Manhattan. They also own an art collection with a value that Bloomberg has estimated at $250 million, including a collection of the surrealist painter Rene Magritte valued at $100 million. Mr Ross was also leader – known as the Grand Swipe – of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi and in 2012 presided over an annual ceremony in which initiates performed song-and-dance routines in drag during a feast of lamb and foie gras at a Manhattan hotel.

Mr Ross has dismissed the idea that the very wealthiest have unfair advantages, arguing in 2014 that “the 1 per cent is being picked on for political reasons.” He added: “Education is the way that people get out of the ghetto and into, if not the 1 percent, something close to it.”

Mr Trump said he nominated Mr Ross because he admires his wealth and ferocious drive. “I’d like to put on a guy that failed all his life, but we don’t want that, do we?” Trump said at a post-election victory rally in Ohio. “No, I put on a killer.”

As it expanded, WL Ross & Co. set up an increasing number of entities in offshore tax havens, many in the Cayman Islands. The British territory in the Caribbean levies no corporate or income tax on money earned outside the jurisdiction and requires little disclosure of corporate ownership. This has made the Caymans a popular destination with U.S. private equity managers for setting up their funds.

Appleby has been a key advisor and service provider. The global offshore law firm has administered more than 50 Cayman Island companies for WL Ross & Co., the law firm’s records show. In 2005, for instance, WL Ross & Co. acquired the German rail car and logistics company VTG, which later expanded into Russia and Eastern Europe. Appleby’s files include a group of five Cayman Islands companies whose names include “Euro Wagon” that were used to hold and manage VTG shares.

Appleby wooed WL Ross & Co executives at events it hosted, including at the US Open tennis tournament, and employees congratulated each other as the company’s holdings grew. The law firm reduced due diligence requirements for the Ross-related companies, designating them low risk and qualifying for decreased scrutiny under Cayman laws regulating law firms’ responsibility to investigate clients. “This is absolutely fantastic Sabine,” wrote Appleby attorney Matthew Taber, when compliance officer Sabine Calvetti delivered the news. “100 per cent spot on and really great work.”

In 2014, the Ross group was one of Appleby’s top 20 clients based on the number of companies administered.

Appleby’s files show that the four companies Ross retained are in two parallel chains of ownership, with Ross himself at the top. According to Appleby records, Ross is a shareholder and was a director of two companies established in July 2011 as general partners to control two other WL Ross & Co entities that invested in the shipping industry, which, in turn, control two WL Ross Group funds.

These funds invested in several shipping companies, including Navigator, according to SEC filings and Ross’ ethics disclosures.

In all, Mr Ross’s former firm, WL Ross & Co., is Navigator’s largest shareholder, owning 39.4 percent of Navigator through companies it controls. When he became commerce secretary, Ross kept his personal financial interest in some of the WL Ross entities but resigned from managing them. The ones he kept a stake in, which also include other investors, own a substantial part of the larger stake with 31.5 percent of the shipping company’s stock.

Federal ethics law requires officials to recuse themselves from matters that would have “a direct and predictable” effect on the official’s or a family member’s financial interest or if the official has a close relationship that might cause a reasonable person to doubt the official’s impartiality.

During his confirmation hearings, Mr Ross sought to reassure senators that he would avoid any conflicts of interest between his business holdings and his cabinet post. “I intend to be quite scrupulous about recusal and any topic where there is the slightest scintilla of doubt,” he said.

Bastian Obermayer, Frederik Obermaier, Rigoberto Carvajal and Inti Pacheco also contributed to this story.

Sunday, November 5, 2017, 17:55

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Shocking Budget For The Rich and Attacks on U. S. Working Class Proposed by Trump

Bernie Sanders: Republicans step up their assault on working-class America

Last Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017, 13:44

After failing to pass a “healthcare” Bill that would have thrown up to 32 million Americans off of health insurance, a Bill that was more unpopular than the Wall Street bailout, Donald Trump and the Republican leadership in congress are back. Now, they are pushing one of the most destructive and unfair budget and tax proposals in the modern history of our country – a plan that would do incalculable harm to tens of millions of working families, our kids, the sick, the elderly and the poor. The Republican budget, which will likely be debated on the floor of the US Senate this week, is the Robin Hood principle in reverse. It takes from those in need and gives to those who are already living in incredible opulence. Trump and Republican leaders claim their plan would provide a “big league” tax cut for the middle class. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, by the end of the decade, nearly 80 per cent of the tax benefits of the Republican plan would go to the top one per cent and 40 per cent would go to the top one-tenth of one per cent.

While the Republicans want to give a $1.9 trillion tax break to the top one percent, they are proposing massive cuts in programmes that working-class Americans desperately need.

This budget cuts Medicaid by more than $1 trillion over 10 years – which would throw some 15 million Americans off of the health insurance they currently have. Further, this budget does what the Republicans have not yet attempted to do in their previous healthcare legislation and that is to make a $473 billion cut to Medicare, despite Trump’s campaign promises not to cut these programmes.

Poll after poll after poll tells us that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want congress to cut Medicare or Medicaid and they do not want to provide tax breaks to the wealthy or large corporations.

A recent Pew Foundation poll found that 85 per cent of Republicans and 94 per cent of Democrats want to either maintain or increase funding for Medicare. And 60 per cent of Americans oppose slashing Medicaid, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

A recent Wall Street Journal and NBC poll found that only 12 per cent of the American people believe the wealthy should receive a tax cut; while 62 per cent believe the wealthy should pay more in taxes. Why are the Republicans bringing forth such an absurd budget that, in almost every instance, is diametrically opposed to what the American people want? The answer isn’t complicated. Follow the money.

Corrupt

Today, we have a corrupt campaign finance system that enables multibillionaires, along with some of the most powerful chief executives in America, to contribute many hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Republican candidates to represent their views. As a result, the top one per cent has been able to rig the political system to favour them at the expense of virtually everyone else.

Here are just a few examples. The Republican budget would give the richest family in America, the Walton family of Wal-Mart, a tax cut of up to $52 billion by repealing the estate tax – a tax that only applies to multimillionaires and billionaires. But, if you are a lower income senior citizen you and more than 700,000 other families may not be able to keep your home warm in the winter because of a cut of about $4 billion to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This budget says that if you are the second-wealthiest family in America, the Koch brothers, you will see a tax break of up to $33 billion. But if you are a working-class student trying to figure out how you could possibly afford college, your dream of a college education could evaporate along with 8 million other students because of more than $100 billion in cuts to Pell Grants and other student financial assistance programmes.

This budget gives members of the Trump family a tax cut of up to $4 billion, but if you are a low-income pregnant woman you and 1.2 million new mothers, babies, and toddlers may not be able to get the nutrition you need thanks to a $6.5 billion cut to the Women, Infants, and Children programme. What is alarming is that despite this incredible giveaway for the billionaire class, the Koch brothers and their network say that it’s not enough.

When David Koch ran for vice-president under the Libertarian Party in 1980, he advocated not just to cut Medicare and Medicaid, he wanted to abolish these programmes. He didn’t just want to cut taxes for the wealthy he wanted to eliminate all forms of taxation. At a time when the middle class is shrinking and over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, this budget must be defeated and replaced with a plan that reflects the needs of the working families of our country, not just the wealthy, the powerful and large campaign contributors.

Bernie Sanders is a US senator and sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016

Guardian Service

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Budget 2018- Dáil Eireann Tuesday 10th October 2017  Deputy Seamus Healy:

 Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and The Independent Alliance are determined to Protect the incomes and Assets of the Super-Rich from Fair Taxation at All Costs-That is why the Crises in Housing and Health are set to Continue  after this Budget .Government has ignored calls from ICTU, St Vincent De Paul Society, Focus Ireland, and 31 TDs to Formally Declare a National Housing Emergency. Reasonable persuasion has failed. It is time for Action on Streets.

“Today’s budget is shamefully inadequate, given the extreme crisis in housing and health and the need to restore cuts in welfare, disability provision, public service pay and pensions and many other areas. Some might say today’s budget is a missed opportunity, but not so.

It is, rather, a conscious decision, a conscious and deliberate policy, by Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil to protect the massive increase in wealth of the Irish super-rich from fair taxation and to make further tax concessions to them.

Prudent budgeting does not require limiting of spending to the shamefully low figures in today’s budget. The European Union fiscal treaty does not require it either but it does not forbid extra revenue-raising, provided it is recurrent. Significant additional income could have been raised if the Government was prepared to make the super-rich pay their fair share of taxation.

Here are the facts. On GDP per head, Ireland is wealthier than Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Italy. Overall, Ireland is ranked eighth in the world. The richest 12 in Ireland have €50 billion in total assets, having gained €6 billion in the last year alone. The top 300 have €100 billion, having gained €12 billion in the last year alone. The financial assets of the top 10% are €37 billion above the peak boom levels of 2006. The top 10,000 of personal income recipients have incomes totalling €6 billion per year, or average incomes of €600,000 per year each, and they have received the full benefit of income tax and USC reductions in the last two budgets and again today. The top 5% of all income recipients, on average incomes of €180,000, have received income tax and USC reductions in the last two budgets totalling €172 million. Today, they again benefit to the full from income tax and USC changes. Today, again, the fabulously wealthy will escape any additional imposition on their massive and growing wealth. In fact, they get €90 million out of today’s budget.

This is a regressive budget. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in its pre-budget submission correctly stated that Government policy has created an unequal nation. The society stated that the top 1% increased its share of income by 20%, but the share of income of the bottom 50% has fallen by 15%, and one in four one-parent families lives in consistent poverty. Government policy is shameful, cruel and anti-human. It makes the British landlords of old appear like charitable figures by comparison. There is one simple explanation. Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil are determined to protect the Irish super-rich from fair taxation.

First, tax and USC relief on the top 10,000 income recipients should be withdrawn, giving a saving of some €10 million. Instead, a higher marginal tax rate should be imposed on all individual incomes over €150,000 per year. A wealth and assets tax must be imposed on the super-rich while protecting small property owners. Skilled Department of Finance accountants will have no difficulty in sourcing three times the revenue the State is collecting solely by extra taxes on the super-rich. For example, the wealthiest 12 would hardly miss €1 billion out of the €6 billion they have gained in the last year alone and the top 10% of financial asset holders would hardly miss €1 billion from the €35 billion above what they had at peak boom levels in 2006. These measures would transform the Government’s ability to spend on housing and health, but the Government and Fianna Fáil are protecting the super-rich.

Housing and Homelessness

 

Today is world homelessness day. The proposals in this budget in respect of housing are scandalous. The Government’s policy of relying on developers and the market to solve the housing emergency has been a disaster for families, yet this policy is continued in today’s budget, again showing the support by Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil for the rich and powerful in our society. There is no change in housing policy in this budget. Not a single addition house will be built as a result of the budget proposals. The Government is persisting with its disastrous housing policy and, outrageously, it is continuing to evict families from their homes into a horrendous housing crisis through the banks it itself owns, Allied Irish Banks and permanent tsb. The Government policy of reliance on the market has created a housing emergency, rising homelessness, rising non-affordability and rising rents. The conscious decisions by successive Governments to outsource house building to a profit-dominated, land-speculative, developer-led market has created homelessness and deaths on our streets. The market system has failed and is entirely dysfunctional. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are affected and large numbers of children are being damaged.

Over 90,000 families languish on local authority housing waiting lists, a figure that has doubled since 2005.More than 20,000 families are on housing assistance payment schemes. This is a disaster for the families and a bonanza for the landlords. Families are paying rent to the local authority and significant top ups to landlords and at the end of the week, the families do not have two cents to rub together. An illness, a death, a first holy communion or a confirmation can drive them into debt and into the hands of moneylenders. Many more thousands are homeless. Currently more than 8,000 people, including some 3,000 children, are homeless. Many more are homeless who are sleeping on couches or doubling up with relatives. The proposals for housing in the budget are cruelly inadequate. We must have a housing policy change. We need a declaration of a national housing emergency. We must stop the voluntary surrender of homes, the so-called voluntary sale of homes, repossessions and evictions. We need a major, emergency, local authority social and affordable house building programme. This would be a win-win situation for all with additional jobs, less social welfare payments and more income tax. We also need to repeal the law that allows vulture funds and purchasers to evict sitting tenants.

The only explanation for the housing debacle – as I have already said – is the determination of Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance, supported by Fianna Fáil, to put the interests of the Irish super-rich above all else. These parties have opposed the formal declaration of a national housing emergency. Under the constitutional articles in respect of private property, the formal declaration of a housing emergency by the Oireachtas would enable legislation to be passed that would end evictions, freeze rents and provide for the compulsory purchase of land and buildings. The Government has already used emergency legislation to confiscate private property through the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015, but when the property interests of the super-rich are at stake, the Government refuses to act.

National Demonstration/People Power

Through mass action on the streets, we forced the Government to retreat on water charges. We must do the same on housing. I will be calling a meeting of the 31 Deputies who voted in support of my amendment to the housing Bill last December. That amendment called for the declaration of a housing emergency. I will ask Deputies to call a national demonstration to force a change in housing policy. The Government has ignored the calls made by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Focus Ireland and other advocacy groups to declare a housing emergency and to build sufficient public homes to rapidly reduce homelessness and the local authority waiting lists. I will ask all those bodies to join a national demonstration. Reasonable persuasion has failed. The Government has refused to listen and the time for talking is now over. It is time to take action.

Health Services

What does the Taoiseach’s republic of opportunity look like for people who need to use our health services? It means 675,000 people on hospital waiting lists. Today, there were 514 people on hospital trolleys. In my town of Clonmel, in 2011 there were 750 people on trolleys in South Tipperary General Hospital – the year the last Fine Gael and the Labour Party Government came to power – and in 2017 that figure will be 7,000 people. We have huge waiting lists for various services. Urgent cases in urology services will be called in 48 months. That is four years. People are waiting two years for audiology services, anything up to four years for orthopaedic services and up to two years for cataract operations. Families waiting on assessments for children who have a disability, and who by law are entitled to assessment within three months of referral, are now being told they must wait for two years. Home helps and care assistants are run off their feet providing the 45 minutes of care in people’s homes. It goes on and on.

Today’s budget made no mention of the funding for the Sláintecare programme. We have been told that to provide the same level of service in 2018 as in 2017, including the requirements for demographic changes, would cost €900 million. Today, the health budget was allocated €685 million.

Disability Services

The disability community is bitterly disappointed tonight as its 643,000 members have been sidelined again with a very minor increase of around €15 million. There was no mention whatsoever of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To add insult to injury, in today’s budget we were told that the Taoiseach’s media quango, which was supposed to cost the State nothing – zilch – is going to cost €5 million. This will be used to spin, to gild the lily and to tell us half-truths. The health service also has a pay apartheid where young nurses are paid less than colleagues who work alongside them while doing the same work.

Mental Health Services

The mental health services remain the Cinderella of the health service. A Vision for Change, published way back in 2006, is still not funded, resourced or staffed. Community-based teams are a shadow of what they should be under the Vision for Change programme. There are not enough nurses, medical staff or paramedical staff. In my county of Tipperary, services have been completely decimated with inpatient services transferred to Kilkenny and to Ennis. The community-based services, which were supposed to be of Rolls Royce standard to compensate for the transferred inpatient services, are a shadow of the previous services. They are under-funded and under-staffed.

Mental Health Reform said tonight that “We are deeply concerned that essential mental health services will not be in place for people in mental distress who need them, and that new developments including expanding access to out-of-hours mental health services will not be possible”. They are deeply disappointed that a promised €35 million has transpired to be only €11.3 million. It was pointed out recently that a €65 million increase would be needed to maintain existing services and to provide for demographic changes.

Social Welfare

While any increase is welcome, the social welfare increases are paltry. An increase of €5 per week will not come into effect until the last week of March 2018. These increases will be wiped out by already announced and future increases in electricity, gas, rents, bin charges, health insurance, car insurance and cigarettes.

The treatment of children in this budget is absolutely despicable and an insult. There is no child benefit increase at all. There is a €2 per week increase for the dependent child allowance. This is in the context of 3,000 children who are homeless and 132,000 children living in consistent poverty. This is 11.5 % of the total child population.

Indeed, Barnardos stated tonight that these increases are unacceptable. We should have done a lot more for the children of the nation who we are supposed to look after, given that one in four one-parent families lives in consistent poverty. The organisation, One Family, stated tonight that it is disappointed with the proposals and that much more must be done to lift one-parent families out of Government-created poverty.

State Pension – Women – Age

There were two other areas in the social welfare budget that the Government should have addressed as a matter of urgency. It has been asked to address these matters urgently by Members on all sides of the House. I refer to the State pension for women who took time out to look after and rear families and now find themselves with zero or reduced pensions. It is time to ensure that the changes introduced by Deputy Burton when she was leader of the Labour Party are reversed and that those women get proper State pension payments. I refer also to the age at which pension entitlements accrue. It has gone to 66 and will go to 68. There is even talk of it going to 70. That should be reversed and the age should revert to 65. If individuals want to work beyond 65, it should be optional. Certainly, however, the pension age should revert to 65.

Education

Turning to education, while the reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio from 27:1 to 26:1 is welcome, we continue to have the second largest class sizes in Europe. Only the UK has larger class sizes. The average pupil-teacher ratio in Europe is 20:1, which shows how far we have to go. School communities and parents will be deeply disappointed that the capitation grant has not been increased. There is huge pressure on parents to make payments to schools, to run cake sales and draws and to otherwise support schools. Capitation payments must be increased.

Banks

The mark of this budget is the fact that AIB and permanent tsb, two banks which we, the people, bailed out, will now be tax free for another 21 years. That is absolutely unacceptable. As someone else said, this is a budget of bits and bobs. There is nothing substantial in it for ordinary families or, indeed, public services. It is a budget for the wealthy at the expense of public services, those who are homeless, those seeking housing and those who are patients in our hospitals.”

Seamus Healy T.D.

Tel 087 2802199

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Almost 22,000 Irish People Have Incomes Between 200,000 Euro and 2 million Euro Per Year!!!-Minister for Finance

They All Got The Same Tax Relief as a Person receiving 70,000 Euro per annum in the last two budgets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s 300 richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The Richest 12 gained 6 billion of this.It was was a Tax Free Gain

SHOCK!! RTE MENTIONS THAT INDIVIDUALS EARN MILLIONS IN PRIVATE SECTOR  FOR FIRST TIME IN YEARS!

RTE  Commercial Director ,Willie O’Reilly, WAS DEFENDING THE SALARIES OF ITS TOP 10 BROADCASTERS

But why did they not tell us before that 3,334 persons in the private sector earn more than the current salary of top RTe earner Ryan-Tubridy on Euro 495,000?

PQ Reply By Minister For Finance Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD

After Budget 2012

Summary 

Between Euro  200,000 per year and over 2million per year   Number of Income Recipients=    21,864

Top 10,000 have average income of 595,000 per year

Top 10,000     Total Income per year= €5.959Billion   Average Income per year   €595,900

Number earning over   0.5 million= 3,334

Number earning over  €1 million=657

Number Earning over  €2 million=120

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RICH TO GET TAX CUTS IN BUDGET 2018 FUNDED BY SPENDING CUTS-VERADKAR

NO MENTION OF TAXING THE FINANCIAL ASSETS OF THE SUPER-RICH-NOW 37 BILLION EURO ABOVE PEAK BOOM LEVEL IN 2006-THE REAL “HIDDEN FISCAL SPACE”-(PH)

Extracts from Irish Independent 29/06/2017

Tax cuts for hard-working families will trump social welfare increases in next year’s budget, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has indicated.. . 

The Taoiseach is “determined” to find money for tax cuts in the next budget but is “not sure” if it will be possible to increase weekly payments for people with disabilities and carers.. . . 

However, in the clearest sign yet of his plans for Budget 2018, Mr Varadkar said the Government would “find some space to increase the take home pay of two million people who work really hard in this country, who get up every day, go to work, pay the taxes that make everything else possible”.. . . 

Mr Varadkar also revealed that the Government was considering cutting current public spending in certain areas to free up cash. The Taoiseach questioned whether existing spending programmes represent the best use of resources.. . . 

“If 1pc or 2pc of that could be re-allocated, we would have another billion. This is the hidden ‘fiscal space’.. . . 

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The worth of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland has hit €100bn, following a bumper year for property, bonds, stocks and other assets.

The greater part of the wealth of the these ultra-rich is usually in investments or financial assets. This means that there no tax of any kind on over 50 billion of these assets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The total was boosted by some significant gains in the tech sector.

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year, with the MSCI World Index, a global measure of stock exchanges, up 8.15pc by the end of 2016. Several asset classes grew more than this, particularly some tech stocks. 

Of the top 300, the top 12 has as much wealth as the other 288!!!

The Top 12 have more than  50 billion in assets !!!!!

Surely they could be required to pay a few billion to the state in tax each year?

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Worth of Ireland’s top 300 wealthiest soars above €100bn

Significant gains for the super-rich in Sunday Independent Rich List

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year’ Stock photo

Samantha McCaughren Business Editor, Sunday Independent

April 2 2017 2:30 AM

The worth of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland has hit €100bn, following a bumper year for property, bonds, stocks and other assets.

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The total was boosted by some significant gains in the tech sector.

One of the most noteworthy performances came from Limerick brothers John (26) and Patrick (28) Collison, the founders of payments company Stripe. Last year, their wealth was estimated to be €1.38bn. But both brothers became billionaires in their own right since then, when Stripe’s latest fundraising gave the company a $9bn (€8.4bn) valuation. The Collisons are believed to now hold at least 12pc each, making John the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

Others to have joined the list of billionaires include Eugene Murtagh of insulation maker Kingspan, which has enjoyed a share price increase of more than 25pc since early 2016. His holdings are now worth around €900m, while he has other assets.

Paul Coulson, chairman of packaging giant Ardagh, also saw a significant boost to his wealth following the flotation of the company on the New York Stock Exchange. His stake is now valued at €1.5bn, significantly higher than the previous estimate.

The Mistry family top the rankings once again, with a total wealth of €15.4bn. Pallonji Mistry (87) is a reclusive Indian tycoon with an Irish passport, and is married to Dublin-born Patsy Perin Dubash.

The wealthiest Irish-born individual is Denis O’Brien, a shareholder in Independent News & Media, publisher of this newspaper. His wealth is estimated to be €4.9bn.

There are 12 new entries, including James Murphy, whose health and beauty products company Lifes2Good sold its hair business to US corporation Church & Dwight for €150m.

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year, with the MSCI World Index, a global measure of stock exchanges, up 8.15pc by the end of 2016. Several asset classes grew more than this, particularly some tech stocks.

While 2017 got off to a good start, concerns are emerging about the impact US president Donald Trump’s policies will have on the world economy.

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Ireland gains 5,000 millionaires in 2016 as asset values rise-Wealth Report 2017

Looking specifically at Dublin, the report shows that the city is now home to a third of Ireland’s millionaire population, at 28,200, and 1,060 multimillionaires.(below)

But  Bertie’s Boom-time  Adviser and Progressive Democrat Founder, Gerard Howlin,  Advocates INCREASED TAXATION of the OLD and the LOWLY PAID-Irish Examiner (further down)

Number of Irish Millionaires Increases by 5,000 in 2016

Fiona Reddan    Irish Times

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 00:01

Almost 5,000 Irish people became millionaires last year, thanks to a combination of rising asset and property values.

And the rich are going to continue to get even richer – according to the Wealth Report 2017 from estate agent Knight Frank, which says some 24,900 more Irish people will be millionaires by 2026.

According to the annual report, there were 83,100 dollar millionaires – with investable assets of more than $1 million (€950,000), excluding their homes – in Ireland last year, up by 6 per cent on 2015.

The number of multimillionaires with over $10 million jumped by 160 to 2,760, while 50 Irish people entered the hallowed realm of the “ultra-high net worth” (over $30 million). That club now has 890 members.

There were, however, no new Irish billionaires last year, with the figure staying static at five. In the 10 years between 2006-2016, the number of Irish with “ultra-high net worth” grew by 25 per cent.

Looking specifically at Dublin, the report shows that the city is now home to a third of Ireland’s millionaire population, at 28,200, and 1,060 multimillionaires.

Some 370 ultra-high net worth individuals now live in Dublin, up by 6 per cent on last year, and this figure is expected to grow by 30 per cent to 481 by 2026 .

Comparison

As a comparison, Paris has 110,900 millionaires, Berlin has 32,800, Brussels is home to 34,700 millionaires, while Buenos Aires has just 15,400.

Overall, the study shows there was a modest rise in the global population of ultra-wealthy people in 2016, reversing last year’s decline. The data is compiled by market research firm New World Wealth.

However, it is not just the rich that are seeing their situation improve. Figures from the Central Bank show household net worth increased by 3.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, with average Irish household wealth now standing at €141,427, largely on the back of rising house prices.


GERARD HOWLIN: Our tax base is too narrow to support our spending profile

Irish Examiner   Wednesday, March 01, 2017

With income tax we are dangerously out of kilter with the tax norms of countries we want to emulate, writes Gerard Howlin

“YOU can’t have a champagne lifestyle on a 7-Up budget son” was well-meant but astringent advice given years ago by a builder, who was doing a job for me. I had lost the run of myself, and he administered a dose of reality.

I can testify that he did a good job — a job that lasted. Regrettably, the days of being addressed as “son” are past. OAP status is still far away, but it’s eerily nearer now than the first flush of youth.

Interesting then to see that from today Simon Harris, the health minister, is reducing prescription charges for over-70s with a medical card by 50c per item from €2.50 to €2 as promised, and the monthly maximum regardless of the number of items from €25 to €20. That’s more like 7up than champagne for sure. And what sort would you be, if you begrudged it? It’s not like the health system has the money, but that doesn’t seem to matter. It will benefit 390,000 people 50c at a time.

From next week, a €5 per week increase in the old age pension kicks in for all pensioners, regardless of income. It’s interesting to look at the difference in tax paid by the old, compared to under-66-year-olds.

Dr Donal de Buirléir of publicpolicy.ie points out that on €20,000 a single pensioner pays €535 less in tax per year. That excludes PRSI, because they don’t pay any. For a married couple over 66, on a joint income of €36,000, the differential rises to €4,716. Their income is effectively tax free.

It’s not champagne, but it’s a lot of return in terms of State services, from health to public transport, all of which require investment, and which the old depend on more. In fact, it’s exorbitant largesse, from a State that can’t afford it. Regrettably, it’s not exceptional asymmetry in our out-of-kilter tax system.

In other news, it seems those of us who paid our water charges are to be refunded. Bizarrely, no consideration is being given to seeking a refund from us to the State, of the €100 hand-out for a “water conservation grant”. This, with new regulations for pint-sized apartments which will be building blocks for future slums, were signature initiatives from former environment minister, Alan Kelly. He is gone, but the debris remains.

It seems we aspire to public services on a par with European norms, but unlike those other countries, we won’t pay a water charge. Fine Gael made a bags of it in government. Fianna Fáil, in opposition, baulked. The entire response was led by a brilliant, but destructive campaign by the Left. They pulled Sinn Féin into line first. Fianna Fáil wasn’t far behind and now it’s the new normal.

It doesn’t add up though. Being a tax haven for the old is a lovely idea. The notion of ‘free’ water is an enjoyable hallucination, but the fact is that our tax base is unsustainably narrow.

Property tax is another Irish giveaway. It was frozen until 2019. Michael Noonan wanted to clear the political runway for successful electoral take-off before polling day, and took an increase off the table. Local authorities, which provide local services, including for the homeless are left without adequate funds. In addition, councillors usually, though not always, further reduce the tax by applying the up to 15% leeway, they have locally.

Then, astonishingly last Christmas, those most prominent in the campaign against water charges, in coalition with several who left their palm prints on reductions in an already modest property tax locally, turn up as Santa Claus in Dublin’s Apollo House, fulminating about those left homeless on the streets. It was the point at which stupidity passed into hypocrisy. It invested new levels of indifference into the refrain of “hey, hey, we won’t pay”.

But all of that is just the small part of the iceberg visible above the surface. The bigger deal is that in the wonderland that is our tax system the top 50% of tax payers pay 96% of personal tax. And top, so you are clear, is everyone earning over €30,000 a year. The remaining 4% of personal tax is paid by 21% of income earners. Extraordinarily 29% who earn, pay nothing. It’s crazy!

Sure, those who pay nothing earn very little. But those who earn very little, depend most on services which in the future, like the recent past, will be the first and hardest hit in a downturn, because our tax base is too narrow to support our spending profile. As with water charges, and property tax, so with income tax we are fundamentally and dangerously out of kilter with the tax norms of countries whose spending habits and service levels we want to emulate.

Last Friday night at the Irish Tax Institute, its president, Mark Barrett, issued a prophetic warning when he said: “We cannot run a country in which a few companies are too big to fail, or in which too few people bear the burden of taxation.”

He quoted the IMF which advised us that “the tax base is essential to minimise the impact of potential shocks and to withstand the upcoming demographics-driven expenditure pressure on the health of public finances as well as to safeguard the current welfare system”.

The minister for finance was sitting beside him. On his watch the percentage of income earners who pay no tax has risen from 12% to 29%. Our take on corporation tax, which is at 15% of exchequer income, is at or above average European levels, is dangerously out of kilter too. The top 10 companies pay fully 40% of it.

Admittedly, a water charge was attempted but it has been aborted. Property tax has been frozen. And then there are the recesses of our Vat system where, astonishingly, half of goods and services successfully elude any charge. More importantly than any single specific is a creeping return to the culture that led to the crash.

That’s all before serious, but imminent, talk on public sector pay. It’s the largely ignored backdrop to what I predict will be angry talk about subsidies for public transport this week. And that’s not to mention what other affront will emerge from an inefficient health service, hostage to vested interests, but which paradoxically is relatively well-funded. It won’t stop demands for more money, in return for precisely no reform though.

‘Equal’ is the preferred Sinn Féin word. ‘Fairness’ is the one Fianna Fáil likes. Further left, there is an entire scrabble set of them. Overheard from Fine Gael’s internal conservation are ruminations about social justice and inclusiveness. As of today, some who are perfectly capable of paying, will pay 50c less for every prescription item. There is €5 for everyone in the audience from next week. Swathes of the population are excused from obligation. It’s unsustainable and uncompetitive. The algae is blooming on the pond again.

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So You Thought Huge Salaries Existed Mainly in the Public Service !! None of the Top 10,000 Income Recipients on an average income of 595,000 Euro per year work in the Public Service.

But now it is revealed:

 Fat Cat Irish Private Bankers earned a total of €50million in pay and bonuses in one year-Irish Mirror

European figures show 26 Irish bankers earned an average of €1.9million each in 2015.

Fat cat Irish bankers earned a total of €50million in pay and bonuses in one year.

European figures show 26 Irish bankers earned an average of €1.9million each in 2015.

The names and companies have not been released but this group was given €14.7million in pay and benefits before sharing an added €37million in bonuses and shares.

Their sky-high salaries were revealed by the European Banking Authority – a leading London-based regulator.

All financial companies must tell the EBA how many staff are paid more than a million per year.

Figures showed the highest paid earned nearly €20million in salary and shares between them while another two, whose roles were not specified, amassed just over €3million.

A further eight investment bankers made €14.3million between them and another eight working in asset management companies shared €13.1 million.

(Executives of State Owned Banks are not included in the above as their remuneration is capped at 500,000 Euro)

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RICHEST TEN PER CENT OF IRISH HOUSEHOLDS  INCREASE TOTAL  WEALTH BY 20 Billion Dollars or 18 Billion Euro in LAST YEAR ALONE!!!

“Of course, much of this wealth generation is coming at the top end: Some 169,000 Irish people were in the top 1 per cent for global wealth in 2016, up by 6 per cent on 2015. In addition, some 7,000 Irish people became dollar millionaires last year”

3.1 per cent, or 110,000 people, now fall into the +$1 million (wealth) category, up from  2.6 per cent, or 91,208 people in 2014.

–  CREDIT SUISSE GLOBAL ANNUAL REPORT 2016

Rise in financial assets (€3.3bn) and in  housing assets (€1.9bn) in 3 months!!- Central Bank Report Q2 2016 

As the Richest 10% of households own 53.4% of total assets (and probably a higher percentage of Financial Assets), This means that the value of shares, bank deposits, bonds, insurance policies held by the richest 10% increased by at least 1.65 Billion Euro in 3 months. These Financial Assets of the Richest 10%  are now almost 37 billion Euro above PEAK BOOM LEVEL (CSO Institutional Sector Accounts)

Not a penny tax is payable on these financial assets

Fiona Reddin, Irish Times Last Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 12:52

Household wealth in Ireland is growing at the sixth fastest pace in the world, according to the seventh annual global wealth report from Zurich-based bank. The total wealth of Irish households rose by $38 billion to $770 billion (€ 725 billion) in 2016, up by 5 per cent on 2015. (Top 10% of Irish Households own 53.4% of all Irish household wealth-Central Bank)

This means that Ireland now has a 0.3 per cent share of global wealth. Back in 2000, we had a share of 0.2 per cent and wealth per head of $91,525.

Ireland is in sixth place in terms of both change in total household wealth (+5.2 per cent) and change in wealth per head (+4 per cent). That puts up behind only Japan (19.3 per cent), New Zealand (14.1 per cent), Hong Kong (8.1 per cent), the Czech Republic (6.8 per cent)and Indonesia (6.4 per cent).

Of course, much of this wealth generation is coming at the top end: Some 169,000 Irish people were in the top 1 per cent for global wealth in 2016, up by 6 per cent on 2015. In addition, some 7,000 Irish people became dollar millionaires last year.

This pace of growth means that, in 2016, wealth per adult in Ireland stood at $214,589 (€202,208), up by 4 per cent or €7,745 from 2015.

Irish median wealth

“Median” wealth indicates the middle wealth value, which is the level that represents more people (as average is swayed by the high net worth). In Ireland it is $80,668 per adult. Irish adults have debt of $50,762 per adult. Ireland’s household wealth previously peaked in 2007 at $222,823, before falling to $176,881 in 2011.

In comparison, wealth per adult in the UK is $288,808, with debt of just $48,893 and median wealth of $107,865. The US has wealth per adult of $344,692, debt of $56,793, and median wealth of just $44,977.

The richest European country is Switzerland, where the median wealth is $244,002, debt is $143,364 and wealth per adult is $561,854.

Rising house prices are behind the resurgence in Irish wealth, which may be why so few of us have yet to feel an uplift. Property accounts for 60 per cent of our wealth ($156,509), compared with 47.6 per cent in the UK, 58.9 per cent in Germany and 28.3 per cent in the US.

According to the Credit Suisse survey, almost a third of Irish residents (31.8 per cent) have wealth of less than $10,000; 23 per cent lie in the $10,000-$100,000 range; 42.2 per cent have wealth of between $100,000-$1 million; and 3.1 per cent, or 110,000 people, fall into the +$1 million category, up from up from 2.6 per cent, or 91,208 people in 2014.

There were no new billionaires, however, with this figure steady on 2015 at five. The US can claim 582 billionaires and the UK 434.

Selling down

The survey also points to a reversal in the trend of Irish people selling down their equity holdings. In 2005, some 22 per cent of the country’s financial wealth was held in equities. This slid to 12.7 per cent in 2014 before advancing again in 2015 to 13.7 per cent. This compares with 44.2 per cent in the US and 12.6 per cent in the UK.

Household wealth in the UK declined by $1.5 trillion, or 10 per cent, the report shows, as “a direct consequence” of the Brexit vote. This means that the number of dollar millionaires in the UK fell by 15 per cent.

“The US had a tumultuous end to 2015-2016, with sharp declines in the exchange rate and the stock market following the vote to leave the EU,” Credit Suisse said in the report. “The outlook is very uncertain, both for the economy and household wealth.”

Global wealth advanced by 1.4 per cent to $256 trillion, reflecting lacklustre economic growth. It is expected to reach $334 trillion by 2021, according to Credit Suisse.

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FINANCE BILL-BUDGET FOR THE RICH PASSED BY Dáil

Fine Gael and the following others voted for the Finance Bill ( Budget for the Rich):

Mattie McGrath, Michael Lowry, John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Dr Michael Harty, Seán Canney, “Boxer” Moran, Denis Naughten, Shane Ross, Katherine Zappone

Fianna Fáil Formally Abstained

11 Deputies did not vote (not included in formal Abstentions (staon))

Dáil Record of Voting is carried below

Budget For The Rich

The overall effect of the budget is Rich Top 5% of income recipients  on average incomes of 186,000 Euro per year will now Pay 172 million less USC/Tax than in 2015

No Tax was imposed on Financial Assets of individuals which are now well above peak boom level. The shares, bank deposits, insurance policies etc of the top 10% of households are now 35 BILLION above peak boom level in 2006

Hospitals, Schools, Housing , Welfare WILL REMAIN UNDER-FUNDED by the Gvernment’s own admission. Restorations of these public services are the subject of “5 year plans”, medium and long term strategies etc.  For example, there is no commitment to end homelessness (over 6000 in emergency accommodation and still rising) within a year.

There is no provision for further restoration of pay and pensions beyond that set out in the Lansdowne Rd Agreement and FEMPI ACT 2015

Dáil Record

Question put: “That the (Finance) Bill do now pass.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 58; Staon, 30; Níl, 38.

Staon Níl
      Bailey, Maria.       Aylward, Bobby.       Adams, Gerry.
      Barrett, Seán.       Brassil, John.       Barry, Mick.
      Breen, Pat.       Breathnach, Declan.       Boyd Barrett, Richard.
      Brophy, Colm.       Browne, James.       Brady, John.
      Burke, Peter.       Butler, Mary.       Broughan, Thomas P.
      Byrne, Catherine.       Cahill, Jackie.       Buckley, Pat.
      Canney, Seán.       Calleary, Dara.       Burton, Joan.
      Cannon, Ciarán.       Casey, Pat.       Collins, Joan.
      Carey, Joe.       Chambers, Jack.       Collins, Michael.
      Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.       Chambers, Lisa.       Coppinger, Ruth.
      Coveney, Simon.       Donnelly, Stephen S.       Crowe, Seán.
      Creed, Michael.       Dooley, Timmy.       Cullinane, David.
      D’Arcy, Michael.       Haughey, Seán.       Doherty, Pearse.
      Daly, Jim.       Lahart, John.       Ellis, Dessie.
      Deasy, John.       Lawless, James.       Ferris, Martin.
      Deering, Pat.       Martin, Micheál.       Fitzmaurice, Michael.
      Doherty, Regina.       McGrath, Michael.       Funchion, Kathleen.
      Donohoe, Paschal.       Moynihan, Aindrias.       Healy-Rae, Danny.
      Doyle, Andrew.       Moynihan, Michael.       Healy, Seamus.
      Durkan, Bernard J.       Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret.       Kenny, Gino.
      English, Damien.       Murphy, Eugene.       Kenny, Martin.
      Farrell, Alan.       O’Brien, Darragh.       McDonald, Mary Lou.
      Fitzgerald, Frances.       O’Callaghan, Jim.       Mitchell, Denise.
      Fitzpatrick, Peter.       O’Keeffe, Kevin.       Munster, Imelda.
      Flanagan, Charles.       O’Rourke, Frank.       Murphy, Paul.
      Griffin, Brendan.       Ó Cuív, Éamon.       Nolan, Carol.
      Halligan, John.       Rabbitte, Anne.       O’Brien, Jonathan.
      Harris, Simon.       Scanlon, Eamon.       O’Reilly, Louise.
      Harty, Michael.       Smith, Brendan.       O’Sullivan, Maureen.
      Heydon, Martin.       Troy, Robert.       Ó Broin, Eoin.
      Humphreys, Heather.       Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
      Kehoe, Paul.       Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
      Kyne, Seán.       Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
      Lowry, Michael.       Pringle, Thomas.
      Madigan, Josepha.       Ryan, Brendan.
      McEntee, Helen.       Ryan, Eamon.
      McGrath, Finian.       Smith, Bríd.
      McGrath, Mattie.       Stanley, Brian.
      McHugh, Joe.
      McLoughlin, Tony.
      Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
      Moran, Kevin Boxer.
      Murphy, Dara.
      Murphy, Eoghan.
      Naughten, Denis.
      Naughton, Hildegarde.
      Neville, Tom.
      Noonan, Michael.
      O’Connell, Kate.
      O’Donovan, Patrick.
      O’Dowd, Fergus.
      Phelan, John Paul.
      Ring, Michael.
      Rock, Noel.
      Ross, Shane.
      Stanton, David.
      Varadkar, Leo.
      Zappone, Katherine.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Paul Murphy and Richard Boyd Barrett.

Question declared carried.

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RESEARCH DOCUMENT INCLUDING DETAILED CALCULATIONS

SO YOU BELIEVE THAT INCREASED INVESTMENT IN PARTICULAR PUBLIC SERVICES COULD ONLE BE DONE AT EXPENSE OF OTHER PUBLIC SERVICES?

THAT PAY AND PENSION RESTORATION FOR ONE GROUP CAN BE ONLY DONE AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER PUBLIC SERVANTS?

Or

Funded by an increase of 4% in top Income Tax Rate?

THIS IS RUBBISH!! It IS JUST PROPAGANDA OF THE SUPER-RICH AND THEIR SERVANTS IN POLITICS AND IN THE MEDIA

 

READ ON!!!!!

 

IN GDP PER HEAD IRELAND IS WEALTHIER THAN GERMANY, UK, US, FRANCE, ITALY

IRELAND IS RANKED 8th in World.

BUT Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.—Bertlesman Institute Report (GERMANY), Irish Examiner, Sept 16, 2015

Super-Rich Irish Awash With Money

Full Details http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

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TOP 10%  Have increase in Net Financial ASSETS of 35 billion since peak boom level in 2006

Not A Penny in Property Tax Tax is Payable on This huge Gain

But households in negative equity have to pay LPT

 

Financial Assets are one form of Property

Positive Financial Assets include shares, bank deposits, insurance policies. Negative Financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt etc

Financial assets do not include dwelling houses, farms , workshops, business premises-these are fixed assets

Recent Corrected  Figures for Financial Assets of Households (Individuals not companies) have been issued by Central Statistics Office

Institutional Sector Accounts (Financial) 2015 (millions)  Households

Gross Financial Assets    Total liabilities       Net Financial Asets.

2015        363,316              160,459                        202,857

Peak Boom 2006                                                                   132,032 m

The total Gain since peak boom level (2006)           70,825m

Top 10% own 53.8% of all household Assets  (Financial +Fixed)

Assuming they own same % of net Financial assets(they probably Own a higher percentage)

2015              53.8% of 202,857 =109 Billion

2006               53.8% of 132,032= 74  million

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS INCREASE for Top 10% of Households since PEAK BOOM=35 Billion Euro

 

Why Doesn’t the Government cancel the concession to the super-rich, end the lock-out and re-open the schools?

Income Tax and USC Relief To  High Incomes Over Two Most Recent Budgets Totalled Over  172 Million Euro

Government Concession to Top 5% of Income recipients (110,000 units) with average incomes of 186,000 EU per year  Detailed Calculation wp.me/pKzXa-oM

( Assuming One third of units or c. 37,000 in this high Income bracket  are self-employed- There were 85,000 self-employed with paid employees and 231,000 without employees active in irish economy in 2014)   Stats below show that there are 18% self-employed in workforce (including part-time employees, minimum wage employees etc)

 

 

Budget 2017 Tax/USC Concessions to top 5%

                Employee Gain 353 Eu    Self Employed Gain 353+400=  753 eu    (400 is a tax credit)

Top 5 %   Average income 186,000 Eu  Number of Units    110,000                Tot Gain

Employees              73,333               25,886,549

Self-employed               36,667              27,610,251

All                                                 53,496,800

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Budget 2016

Employee Gain 902 Eu    Self Employed Gain  902+550+  1452Eu     (550 is a tax credit)

Employees          73,333                 66,146,366

Self-Employed        36,667               53,240,484

All                  119,386,850

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Concession To Top 5%  Over  2 Years     All               172,883,650

 

 

595,000 euro per year is the average income the TOP 10,000 income Recipients

None of these are Public Servants-ALL IN PRIVATE SECTOR

Assuming all these are self-employed, They received 22.98 Million of The 172 million in tax concessions in last budget

Irish Economy 2014: Number of employees remains below bailout quarter of 2010
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 27, 2014 – 6:08 AM
Email this article
Printer friendly page

(Thousands)

All self-employed                                                  318.3

Employees(Including Schemes)                               1,541.2

Schemes                                                                    85.0

Actual Employees                                                       1,456.2

Actual Self Employed +Actual Employees         =        1,774.5

% Self-Employed                                                      =  18%

600 Million in Tax Concessions to Hotel Owners in last Budget   

Full Details http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

SIPTU PRESIDENT JACK O’CONNOR CONTRADICTS NOONAN’S FALSE CLAIM THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME

                                                                                                          

 LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

600 million in tax concessions (VAT REDUCTION) given to owners of hotels which have fully recovered in Budget –Jack O’Connor (SIPTU)

BUT ONLY 290 MILLION PROVIDED FOR RESTORATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE PAY AND PENSIONS UNDER LANSDOWNE RD/FEMPI-THE GOVERNMENT MADE CHOICES

Mr O’Connor said: “We utterly reject the assertion that there is no money and that it is a choice between pay increases and services for the public.

“This is an absolutely false dichotomy. The fact of the matter is that the Government made choices in the budget. For example, it decided to continue to gift business in the hotel and hospitality sector with special VAT concessions costing more than €600 million (VAT REDUCTION) per annum at the tax-payers expense. They chose to do so despite the fact that the industry has fully recovered.

Mr O’Connor said the Government was also prepared “ to splurge a further €46 million on gifting for the wealthy through cutting capital taxes”

BUDGET 2017:  HIGHEST  INCOMES ATTRACTED  HIGHEST TAX/USC RELIEF

Minister Noonan: “Tax and USC reductions have been targeted at those on low and middle incomes”

NOT TRUE !!!  

Those over an annual income of 70,000 Euro are getting 146 million  in Tax/USC Relief or almost 50% out of total relief of 300 million in Budget

The 300,000 over 70,000EU per year are getting at least 40 million more in tax relief than the 324,000 in the 30,000 to 40,000 category (average industrial wage 36,500).

A TD is getting an extra 7 euro per week from Jan 1.  A person on average industrial wage(36,500 per year) is getting an extra 3.42 Euro per week,

A person on minimum wage (18,720 per year) is getting Tax/USC relief of 2 Euro per week . 

A rich business person (self-employed) on 200,000 per year is getting 14.5 euro per week from Jan 1

An adult social welfare recipient including pensioners is getting a social welfare increase 5 Euro from March 1 which is equivalent to 4 Euro per week from Jan 1

 

IN GDP Per HEAD IRELAND IS WEALTHIER THAN GERMANY, UK, US, FRANCE, ITALY

IRELAND IS RANKED 8th in World. 

BUT Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.—Bertlesman Institute Report (GERMANY), Irish Examiner, Sept 16, 2015

 

WIKIPEDIA

IMF uses Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) as a basis for comparison .                                                 PPP basis is arguably more useful when  Comparing generalized differences in living standardsbetween nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using only exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income. This is why GDP (PPP) per capita is often considered one of the indicators of a country’s standard of living,[2][3] although this can be problematic because GDP per capita is not a measure of personal income. 

 

 

International Monetary Fund (2015)[
Rank Country Int$
1  Qatar 132,870
2  Luxembourg 99,506
3  Singapore 85,382
4  Brunei 79,508
5  Kuwait 70,542
6  Norway 68,591
7  United Arab Emirates 67,217
8  Ireland 65,806
9  San Marino 62,938
10   Switzerland 58,647
 Hong Kong 56,878
11  United States 56,084
12  Saudi Arabia 53,802
13  Netherlands 49,624
14  Bahrain 49,601
15  Sweden 48,199
16  Australia 47,644
17  Austria 46,986
18  Germany 46,974
 Taiwan 46,833
19  Denmark 45,723
20  Iceland 45,666
21  Canada 45,602
22  Belgium 44,148
23  Oman 43,707
24  Equatorial Guinea 43,522
25  United Kingdom 41,499
26  France 41,476
27  Finland 41,109
28  Japan 38,142
29  South Korea 36,612
30  New Zealand 36,136
31  Malta 36,042
32  Italy 35,781
33  Spain 34,861

———————————–

SIPTU PRESIDENT JACK O’CONNOR CONTRADICTS NOONAN’S FALSE CLAIM THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

600 million in tax concessions given to owners of hotels which have fully recovered in Budget BUT. . . 

ONLY 290 MILLION PROVIDED FOR RESTORATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE PAY AND PENSIONS UNDER LANSDOWNE RD/FEMPI-THe GOVERNMENT MADE CHOICES

Mr O’Connor said: “We utterly reject the assertion that there is no money and that it is a choice between pay increases and services for the public.

“This is an absolutely false dichotomy. The fact of the matter is that the Government made choices in the budget. For example, it decided to continue to gift business in the hotel and hospitality sector with special VAT concessions costing more than €600 million per annum at the tax-payers expense. They chose to do so despite the fact that the industry has fully recovered.

Mr O’Connor said the Government was also prepared “ to splurge a further €46 million on gifting for the wealthy through cutting capital taxes”

NOONAN FALSELY CLAIMS THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

BUT he gave 172 million to those on average Pay of 186,000 Euro in Last Two budgets

IRISH TIMES: “In Brussels yesterday, Mr Noonan said it was “simply not affordable” to provide the same level of pay increases to all public service staff as those recommended for gardaí.

Mr Noonan said the Garda pay proposals fell within the parameters of the Lansdowne Road agreement.”-Irish Times 11/08/2016

The top 5% of Income Recipients have average incomes of 186,000 per year. These are now paying 172 million less in tax than before budget 2016

Virtually all those in this income bracket are in the private sector. Even TDs are below it. The Taoiseach and Full Ministers are included. The cohort mainly consists of owners of large businesses, GPs and medical consultants, cosulting engineers, big landlords with rental income, solicitors, barristers, vets, auctioneers, bookmakers, race horse owners and trainers  etc

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF RICHEST 10% OF IRISH HOUSEHOLDS ARE NOW OVER 35 BILLION Euro ABOVE PEAK BOOM  LEVEL-CENTRAL BANK REPORT 2015

TOP 10% Gained over 6 Billion in the year 2015 alone

TOP 10% Now Own 53.8% of all Household Assets Including 102.5 Billion in Shares, Bank Deposits, Insurance Policies, Bonds and other Financial Instruments

BUT NOT A PENNY IN ASSETS TAX IS PAYABLE ON THESE FINANCIAL ASSETS!!! These are part of the personal wealth of individuals not of Companies

On The Other Hand the Government Gave a total of 172 Million in tax relief to the top 5% of income recipients on an average income of 186,000 over last two Budgets–(SEE  on this Blog:  Tax Evasion by Irish Rich    http://wp.me/pKzXa)

Central Bank Report 2015 says net financial assets (note 1) of households have increased by + 8 –(-4.7)=12.7 Billion in 2015

Net Financial Assets     2015        192,076 m

Peak Boom                       2006       132,032 m

Gain              60,044m     0r by factor of    1.45

Up by almost 50% since Peak Boom level

Net financial assets of households      2015        192,076 m

Net Financial Assets  “Bust”                2008          69,218

Gain                        122 ,8 58 m or by factor of 2.77

These Figures have been corrected routinely by CSO and the verified figures now are:

Institutional Sector Accounts (Financial) 2015 (millions)

Gross Financial Assets       Total liabilities       Net Financial Asets.

363,316                                            160,459                        202,857

The total Gain since peak boom level (2006) is actually        70,825

Top 10% own 53.8% of all household Assets

Assuming they own same % of net Financial assets=53.8% of 202,857 =109 Billion

53.8% of Gross Financial Assets     = 53.8% of 363,316= 195.5 billion

(reality is probably above 109 billion and below 195.5 billion-PH)

NET WEALTH OF HOUSEHOLD= Gross Financial Assets + Gross Fixed Assets (note 2) less Gross Liabilities

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each  

Total Irish Household Net Worth   595.7 billion in Quarter 1, 2015   up 2.2% over 3 months   19/08/2015

(These are the personal property of Irish PEOPLE, not of banks or of companies etc)

http://www.centralbank.ie/publications/Documents/Quarterly%20Bulletin%20No.%203%202015.pdf

Note 1:  Financial Assets Are shares, bank deposits, insurance policies. and other FINANCIAL instruments and does not include homes, farms, shops, buildings

Financial Liabilities include mortgage balance, credit card debt and other financial debts

Note 2: Fixed assets include homes, farms, rental properties,workshops, commercial properties, yachts, paintings and other NON-FINANCIAL items owned

———————————————

CSO 2014

The most recent  INSTITUTIONAL SECTOR ACCOUNTS  issued by the Central Statistics Office(CSO) show that the Net Financial assets of Households in 2014 were considerably( c 41 billion Euro) above PEAK BOOM LEVELS in 2006. There is no levy, charge or tax on the vast bulk of these large assets nor has there been as the assets grew over the last 5 years. These assets include shares, bank deposits, Insurance policies etc but do not include homes, letting properties, farms or other fixed assets.Mortgage debt, Credit card debt, and loans held by individuals are negative financial assets. They are subtracted from  gross finacial assets to get the net figure. Consequently the gains of the very rich, those who have net positive assets, have been enormous.

There is no wealth tax on these financial assets. However there is a wealth tax on homes and dwelling houses (Local Property Tax) irrespective of the income of the owner however low.

Interest and dividends are income and are liable to income tax.

———————————————————————–

BERTLESMAN INSTITUTE: IRELAND VERY RICH BUT AMONG WORST IN WEALTH DISTRIBUTION

Irish Examiner Sept 16

The growing number of poor people in crisis-hit countries and among young people threatens the existence of the EU, warned the prestigious German think-tank which carried out the study.

Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.

Irish Times Sept 16

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/ireland-urged-to-do-more-for-its-vulnerable-population-1.1929914

“Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation ranked Ireland 18th among the EU 28 members, below Poland and Slovakia, in a survey of social justice in Europe.

“The foundation cited Ireland as an example of how high GDP per capita did not translate automatically into social justice for the population. “Ireland has a similarly high GDP per capita,similar to Sweden, but ranks considerably below average when it comes to social justice and counts as one of the biggest losers in the country comparison,” the report noted.” (Irish Times)

It is true that public finances are in an appalling state.

But this is because:

1)successive governments have refused to impose sufficiently high taxes on the incomes and assets of the super-rich Irish to pay for necessary public services

2) The current and previous government have agreed that the citizens of the state should pay the 67 Billion Euro which LARGE international investors had lent to privately owned Irish Banks when the banks crashed.(small shareholders were not rescued)

The official statistics on incomes and assets set out below show the obscene wealth of the super-rich Irish at this time. In summary, the top 10,000 income recipients have average declared incomes of 595,000 euro per year each. The financial assets (shares, bank deposits) of Irish households had already climbed back above 2006 boom levels in 2012

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro from 50 Billion to 62 Billion or a gain of 200 million euro each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

The overwhelming majority of  the  super-rich are active in the private sector of the economy. 

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

——————————

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF HOUSEHOLDS NOW 60 BILLION ABOVE BOOM  LEVEL-CENTRAL BANK REPORT 2015

BUT NOT A PENNY IN ASSETS TAX IS PAYABLE ON THESE FINANCIAL ASSETS!!! These are part of the personal wealth of individuals not of Companies

Central Bank Report 2015 says net financial assets of households have increased by + 8 –(-4.7)=12.7 Billion in 2015

Net Financial Assets     2015        192,076 m

Peak Boom                       2006       132,032 m

Gain              60,044m     0r by factor of    1.45

Up by almost 50% since Peak Boom level

Net financial assets of households      2015        192,076 m

Net Financial Assets  “Bust”                2008          69,218

Gain                        122 ,8 58 m or by factor of 2.77

CSO 2014

The most recent  INSTITUTIONAL SECTOR ACCOUNTS  issued by the Central Statistics Office(CSO) show that the Net Financial assets of Households in 2014 were considerably( c 41 billion Euro) above PEAK BOOM LEVELS in 2006. There is no levy, charge or tax on the vast bulk of these large assets nor has there been as the assets grew over the last 5 years. These assets include shares, bank deposits, Insurance policies etc but do not include homes, letting properties, farms or other fixed assets.Mortgage debt, Credit card debt, and loans held by individuals are negative financial assets. They are subtracted from  gross finacial assets to get the net figure. Consequently the gains of the very rich, those who have net positive assets, have been enormous.

There is no wealth tax on these financial assets. However there is a wealth tax on homes and dwelling houses (Local Property Tax) irrespective of the income of the owner however low.

Interest and dividends are income and are liable to income tax.

———————————————–

The obscenely unequal and unfair distribution of wealth in Ireland (See Further Down)

is  replicated in the Entire Capitalist World 

62 richest have more wealth than 50% of world’s population!

Richest 1% now wealthier than the rest of the world, Oxfam says

blomberg Jan 18

The charity called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce inequality

Oxfam says the richest 1% of the world’s population own more than the rest of the world

The charity called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce inequality

The richest one per cent is now wealthier than the rest of humanity combined, according to Oxfam, which called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce such inequality.

In a report published on the eve of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the anti-poverty charity cited data from Credit Suisse in declaring the most affluent controlled most of the world’s wealth in 2015. That’s a year earlier than it had anticipated.

Oxfam also calculated that 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.5 billion people, the bottom half of the global population, compared with 388 individuals five years earlier. The wealth of the most affluent rose 44 per cent since 2010 to $1.76 trillion, while the wealth of the bottom half fell 41 percent or just over $1 trillion.

The charity used the statistics to argue that growing inequality poses a threat to economic expansion and social cohesion. Those risks have already been noted in countries from the US to Spain, where voters are increasingly backing populist political candidates, while it’s sown tensions on the streets of Latin America and the Middle East.

“It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world’s population owns no more than a few dozen super-rich people who could fit onto one bus,” said Winnie Byanima, executive director of Oxfam International. “World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action.”

Oxfam said governments should take steps to reduce the polarisation, estimating tax havens help the rich to hide $7.6 trillion. Politicians should agree on a global approach to ending the practice of using offshore accounts, it said.

“Don’t just look at the very bottom, who have nothing, but look at the bottom 50pc – they own almost nothing of the country.These are the facts. This is not opinion. This is Ireland.”-David McWilliams

DIVISION OF NET WEALTH IN IRELAND-David McWilliams

As the election looms it’s worth looking at the real division of wealth By David McWilliams

To View Charts paste this link into browser:

http://olearylp.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/17th-December-2015.pdf

A little while ago, I presented a programme on RTÉ called ‘Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide’. The aim of the documentary was to highlight the significant and persistent divide in wealth that exists in Ireland. The reason it is an important issue to highlight is that even when the economy recovers, the benefits will not be evenly – or even remotely evenly – spread and this wealth divide has significant, long-term ramifications for the health of the society.

At the time of screening, there were some people who, like climate change deniers, continued to express the opinion that the wealth divide in Ireland was not a big deal and that it might be overstated.

This is not the case, and in the past few weeks, two other major studies – one by TASC and one by the OECD – have added to the canon of work proving that the divide in wealth in this country is a serious issue and that in the past few years, the divide between the income of those at the very top and those at the bottom has also increased.

This divide is important, because if people get left behind they may give up hope. Having wealth or having even a meagre stake in society changes the way people view themselves and the way they view the future.

For example, consider this one experiment involving a group of poor American families. Some of the parents were given a small savings fund, which was to be set aside for their children’s university fees when the kids grew up.

The kids were then assessed for cognitive reasoning every two years and, by the fourth year, the children whose parents had the small education fund were performing better in all tests than those who hadn’t received the fund. The implication of this is that the parents with this small stake in the future were changing their own behaviour towards their children’s education, such as reading to them, paying more attention to their homework and so on. This is extraordinary, because it reveals what having a stake in society, having something to aim for, does to people. It focuses people and gives them something to believe in.

If people have something small – a savings fund, a bit of wealth, a sense that they matter and that their future is in their hands – they change their behaviour for the better. Now armed with this type of thinking, look at the two almost identical charts. These show how wealth is divided in Ireland. One chart represents the estimates of the international bank Credit Suisse and the other represents the findings of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey. These charts are taken from the recent TASC paper published last week entitled ‘The Distribution of Wealth in Ireland’. I urge you to read it if you have any interest in the future of this society.

If we look at the share of the wealth owned by the top 10pc, top 5pc and top 1pc in Ireland, we see similar evidence produced by both reports. According to the survey carried out by the CSO the top 10pc own 53.8pc of the wealth of this country; the top 5pc own 37pc of the wealth; and the top 1pc own 15pc.

FIGURE 1 HFCS CHART

According to Credit Suisse, the concentration at the top is even stronger. Its estimates suggest that the top 10pc own 58.6pc of the wealth; the top 5pc own 46.4pc; and the top 1pc own 27pc. Even taking into account the slight disparity, the concentration of wealth at the very top in both studies is extraordinary on any democratic basis.

FIGURE 2 CREDIT SUISSE CHART

Indeed, because the CSO data is from a survey in which it asked people to declare their wealth, there is a very strong possibility that at the very top the very rich decided to understate their wealth, so the very rich might have played down their assets. The difference between the two is the split within the 10pc; not the split between the top 10pc and the rest. In both studies, the top 10pc own over half the wealth of the country.

The interesting aspect of these studies is the sense that Irish people know things aren’t right. We feel that something is not right and every time we are asked we say that we would prefer the society to be fairer. In the programme ‘Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide’ we conducted our own survey, where we asked people what they thought was the gap between the top 20pc and next 20pc and so on, down to the people at the bottom. We asked what you thought the gap was, then what you thought it “ought” to be and then we revealed what it actually was.

The gap between what you thought it was, what you thought it ought to be and what it is in reality is a huge one.

The consensus from a Red C poll of 1,000 people commissioned for the documentary was that Ireland’s richest 20pc had 60pc of the country’s wealth and that the poorest 20pc have 11pc.

The reality? The most affluent 20pc in Ireland actually own 73pc of the country’s wealth and the poorest 20pc own just 0.2pc. As for the top 5pc, their combined wealth is nearly double that of the entire “squeezed middle”.

Now look at the people at the bottom in Ireland in the two charts. While there are slight variations, the overall message is very clear. The charts are broken down into the top 10pc and down to the bottom 10pc.

Don’t just look at the very bottom, who have nothing, but look at the bottom 50pc – they own almost nothing of the country.

These are the facts. This is not opinion. This is Ireland.

As we head into an election year, it’s worth considering just how many people are being left behind, how many are being shut out. Consider how many people wake up with no hope, no stake, no way of seeing how they play a role in our society, no way of seeing a road map to a better future.

That’s what the wealth gap is all about. It is undeniable and it is persistent. Shouldn’t this be the main electoral issue next year in the year that we celebrate the centenary of a Republic that was supposed to cherish all the children equally?

But will it be?

————————————————————-

Top 10,000 had greater income than IFA General Secretary over 7 years.

Over the 7 years,he got 3.5 million, they got 4.16 million each. The top 10,000 club, almost exclusively private sector, are to get just below 11 million EXTRA between them next year and every subsequent year from Lab/FG government in tax and USC concessions in Budget 2016

Average Gross Income of top 10,000=595,000 Each(PQ reply from Minister Noonan to S Healy TD)

Total Gross Income of TOP 10,000=5.95 Billion=5950,000,00 Euro

USC and Tax Concessions- Budget 2016

Employees            6,667 X 902=6,013,634

Self Employed:    3,333X 1452=4,839,516

Total     10,000       =10,853,150

(assuming one third self-employed and two thirds of 10,000 are employees. calculation:Deloitte Budget calculator)

—————————————————————

AVERAGE INCOME OF TOP 10,000 is Above that of  IFA General Secretary

IFA General Secretary on 535,000 Euro per year in 2013

Top 10,000 income recipients have average salary above this (Dáil Reply to Seamus Healy TD by Finance Minister, Noonan)

Top 10,000    Average Income   €595,900 %  AFTER TAX INCOME 364,000


Central Bank Report  2015 

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each  

Total Irish Household Net Worth   595.7 billion in Quarter 1, 2015   up 2.2% over 3 months   19/08/2015

(These are the personal property of Irish PEOPLE, not of banks or of companies etc)

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each

http://www.centralbank.ie/publications/Documents/Quarterly%20Bulletin%20No.%203%202015.pdf

TOTAL NET FINANCIAL ASSETS of Households were 165 Billion in 2013. Increase in Financial Assets from the 2008 (“Bust”) to 2013 was 93 billion or an increase 51% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) . There has been further annual increases since then.  There is no wealth tax on these massive gains. Finacial assets are shares,bonds, bank deposits etc less mortgages, credit card debt, etc. As the value of homes is excluded, financial assets are more heavily weighted towards the super-rich than all wealth. Most households with a mortgage are likely to have negative financial assets though not in negative equity.  

Incomes of Super-Rich  (Individuals and Jointly Taxed Couples-Reply to Parliamentary Question)

Top 0.46%   10,000      Total Income   €5,959m       Income per Year Each  €595,900   

Top 1%        21,650      Total Income    €8,742 m     Income per year EACH  €403,760

Though 80% to 88% of this income is technically subject to income tax at 40%, these are paying a maximum of 27% of there overall income in income tax. They are major beneficiaries of tax breaks. They all received 747 Euro per annum in tax relief in Budget 2015!

See Further Down for Full Details

DISTRIBUTION OF NET WEALTH AMONG HOUSEHOLDS  Derived From Central bank Report Q1 2015

Irish State  No. Of Households 1,658,243    CSO  2011

Top 1%  16,582    Net Worth= 15% of 595.7 billion    =  89.36 Billion    Per Household   5.389 Million

Top 5%  82,910    Net Worth=38% of 595.7 billion    =226.37 billion      Per Household  2.730 Million

Top 10%  165,820  Net Worth= 53.8% of 595.7 billion =320.49 billion   Per Household    1.933 Million

UPDATE MAY 12

TOP 10% OWN OVER HALF OF IRISH WEALTH

Irish Examiner Tuesday, May 12, 2015

By Peter O’Dwyer
Reporter

More than half of the country’s net household wealth rests in the hands of just 10% of the population, while people in less well-off sectors of society owe more than they own.

CSO research shows the top 10% of the country’s richest households own 53.8% of net wealth — defined as real and financial assets minus debt.

The top 5% of households can lay claim to almost 38% of net wealth while 15% of the wealth lies in the pockets of the richest 1%.

At the opposite end of the scale, the data paints a darker picture as the poorest 20% of households owe more than they own.

The figures illustrate the two-tier society that has developed across the country, partly as a result of government policy, according to Fr Sean Healy of Social Justice Ireland.

“These figures emphasise that it was profoundly wrong of the Government to prioritise the better-off in society in the last four budgets,” said Fr Healy. “As resources become available in Budget 2016 and beyond, priority should be given to those hit hardest during the recession — Ireland’s poorest.”

With some of the country’s richest individuals experiencing large-scale losses in the past seven or so years, the level of inequality has not risen to a major degree. However, low- and middle-income families have been badly affected.

“Some people on exorbitantly high incomes have lost out despite recent budgets favouring them and, consequently, inequality has not risen dramatically,” said Fr Healy.

“However, those already struggling to survive have been stretched even further. This was not an accident, this was the result of Government decisions.”

With the Government flagging an equal split of additional funding between spending increases and tax cuts when it announced the budget in October, a much fairer manner of distributing the benefits of recovery would be to put twice the amount into restoration of services, Fr Healy said.

Recent research by the Central Bank points to a higher level of wealth inequality in Ireland than the eurozone average. However, it is less than that in the US.

Research indicates that countries with higher economic inequality suffer from greater unemployment, social instability, and reduced investment, although other academics dispute these effects.

Although open to a degree of statistical error due to the challenges in accessing relevant data, the Irish wealth gap appears to have widened over time, according to Tom Healy, a director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute.

Since the 1980s, a range of factors, including taxation policy, changing demographics, and house price fluctuations may have driven the changes.

Research carried out by Brian Nolan of the ESRI in 1987 showed that the top 10% of the population then owned 42% of net household wealth as opposed to 53% in current times. The top 1% then owned 10% of net wealth. This has now risen to 15%

Mr Healy said wealth distribution has not tended to feature in public discourse here to the same degree as in some other European countries.

“While comprehensive data are hard to come by, Thomas Piketty in his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, managed to track the main trends and composition of wealth in a number of large countries such as Britain, France, and Germany,” Mr Healy said.

“Here in Ireland, discussion of wealth has been an under-researched and under-reported area until comparatively recent times.”

Mr Piketty’s best-selling book put the distribution of income and wealth back in the public consciousness last year.

Update April 29

Political Promises In Spring Statement As Government  Allows  Super-Rich To Make Huge Gains While It Crucifies The Poor  With Austerity And Water Charges

Deputy Seamus Healy TD (Tipperary) Speaking in Dáil yesterday

This Spring Statement is effectively an election manifesto of sorts with the bulk of the promises made to be implemented after the next general election. It is a series of political promises but we know well what happens to political promises. They are made to be broken, according to the former Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Rabbitte, who said that is what politicians do at election time – they make promises they fully intend to break after the election. That is what happened in 2011 and this Government cannot be trusted or believed. What we have heard today in this Spring Statement is effectively pie in the sky.

It is important to note what this Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition promised in 2011 and what it did with its promises and commitments. We heard a lot about a democratic revolution but we hear very little about it nowadays. Fine Gael told us that it would burn the bondholders and that not another cent would be given to the banks. The Labour Party went even further and said that it would be Labour’s way and not Frankfurt’s way. Its infamous Tesco-style advertisements promised no cuts to child benefit, opposition to domestic water charges and so forth. It contained very specific promises and lines such as “Look what Fine Gael have in store for you” and “Fine Gael – Every Little Hurts”. The Labour Party in government went on to cut child benefit, with a loss of up to €1,500 for many families. A Labour Party Minister is now implementing the introduction of domestic water charges, having gone around north Tipperary in the last election campaign asking people to vote for him to ensure that Fine Gael could not introduce such charges. We were also told that the Labour Party would protect the vulnerable, a point to which I will return later.

This Fine Gael-Labour Party Government continued the austerity of the Fianna Fáil-Green Party Government and did exactly the opposite to what it had promised. Government policy in the past four years has deliberately increased the income and assets of the super rich in society. It ensured that austerity affected only low and middle income families while there was a recovery for the wealthy and the super rich. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, spoke about sharing the fruits of economic growth. He said that a functioning society is a fair one, where the fruits of economic growth are shared among all of the people, which demonstrates both dishonesty and hypocrisy. We know for a fact, as referred to by other speakers, that very wealthy people have increased their income and assets hugely during the course of this recession. An article in the Sunday Times last weekend pointed out that Ireland’s super wealthy now have a combined wealth that surpasses the heights reached at the peak of the Celtic tiger era. Ireland’s 250 richest people have increased their wealth by more than 15% in the past year to €75 billion, equivalent to 30% of Irish GDP. The number of Irish billionaires has increased from nine last year to 13 this year. There have been huge increases in the financial assets of the super rich as confirmed by the Central Statistics Office. The increase in assets from the time of the bust in 2008 to 2013 was €93 billion or an increase of 51% of GDP and there have been further increases since then. The situation is exactly the same with regard to income.

A very small proportion of very wealthy people have huge incomes. The 10,000 wealthiest have average incomes of €595,000 per year, a figure supplied to me by the Minister, Deputy Noonan. That wealth situation was confirmed about a month ago by the Sunday Independent rich list of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland. Those 300 people have €84 billion between them. So the super-rich have done very well out of this recession while ordinary people have paid for it which they had no hand, act or part in creating.

On the other hand, it is instructive to look at what has happened to ordinary low and middle-income families. A recent Central Statistics Office report, the SILC report, shows that 400,000 children are living in households experiencing multiple forms of deprivation, of whom 135,000 are suffering daily material deprivation. The number of children living in consistent poverty has doubled from 6% to almost 12%.

The Labour Party claimed it would protect the vulnerable and particularly social welfare recipients. What is the record of the Labour Party and the Tánaiste in social welfare? She protected the social welfare recipients and low and middle-income families but I am afraid the cuts she introduced in recent budgets have devastated ordinary people and undermined the social welfare system.

It is important to mention some of those cuts, which I call the dirty baker’s dozen cuts: child benefit was cut by up to €1,500 per annum per family; cuts to the back-to-school allowance; cuts to maternity benefit; cuts to the fuel allowance; abolition of the telephone allowance; cuts to the household benefits package; cuts to jobseeker’s allowance; new qualifications for State pensions particularly affecting women who are out of the workforce to rear their families; the carer’s respite grant was cut by €325; farm assist payments cut; back-to-education allowance cut; exceptional needs payment cut; increase in eligibility for State pensions; taxation of maternity benefit; abolition of illness benefit for widows and lone parents who work; huge cuts, of course, to one-parent families with another huge cut coming on 2 July; cuts to rent allowance; and abolition, unbelievably, of the very small bereavement grant.

The so-called recovery is a recovery for those who are already wealthy and it certainly means continued austerity for low and middle-income families. The public does not trust or believe the Government. They know that what the Government says does not transfer into action. They know that middle and low-income families have been crucified by the Government. They want to see the Government going to the country and calling a general election. The Government has absolutely no mandate for what it has done. The public believe that it simply cannot be trusted. This Spring Statement is simply an election manifesto of sorts, one that the public will not believe and one that should be put to the country sooner rather than later.

Update April 17     HUGE RISE IN ASSETS OF SUPER-RICH CONFIRMED BY CSO

As usual this aspect of the CSO release was ignored by media

Increase in Financial Assets from the 2008 (“Bust”) to 2013 was 93 billion or an increase 51% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) . There has been further annual increases since then.

These Assets have more than doubled. There is no wealth tax on these massive gains.

In 2013 Net Financial Assets of Households were 26 Billion Euro above 2006 “boom” level. The super-rich are now richer than they were at the height of the boom

Between 2011 and 2013 NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF HOUSEHOLDS INCREASED BY OVER 40 Billion EURO

Only 17 billion of this was due to paying down debt giving a rise of 23 billion due to appreciation of financial assets in the two years concerned.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014 at constant (2012) prices is 181.33 Billion Euro-Central Statistics Office(CSO)

As financial assets of many households are negative due to mortgage, credit card and loan debt, it is a reasonable assumption that the net financial assets of the wealthiest 5% are comparable to the net financial assets of all households at 165 Billion Euro

Central Statistics Office(CSO)   April 15,2015      Institutional Sector Accounts  Table 5B

http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-isanff/institutionalsectoraccountsnon-financialandfinancial2013/financialaccounts/table5bfinancialbalancesheetend-years2009-2013consolidatedliabilities/#.VTDYutzF-QE

Financial assets include shares, bank deposits and insurance policies on the positive side. Liabilities, which are deducted to get net financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt and bank loans to households (eg car loans)

Financial assets do not include any fixed assets such as homes, buy-to-lets, farms, land, business premises or factories and workshops.

As there has been major appreciation of property values as well as financial assets , the increase in the overall net wealth of the super-rich since 2008 is far greater than indicated by the financial figures below

Financial  Assets Households(millions)    TA=total assets         TL=total liabilities        NA=Net Assets

TA                     TL                    NA

2006           310,899          172,052                   138,848          

2007            310,711          199,036                   111,675

2008           281,650           209,774                     71,876

2009         306,338              207,272                     99,066

2010         316,375               194,250                   122,125

2011         315,028               190,056                    124,972

2012         333,654                179,554                    154,100

2013         342,735                177,805                     164,930

2014        348,092                   168,716                      179,376

————————————————————————————————————————-

Irish Rich Get New 25 Billion Bonanza as 135,000 Children Suffer Multiple Deprivation!

The Contrast Could Not Be More Stark!!!!!

In 2013 Net Financial Assets of Households were 26 Billion Euro above 2006 “boom” level and more than double 2008 “bust” level. Gross Financial Assets were 18 billion above the 2006 peak level.

In 2013, net financial assets of households rose again by  25 billion, only 7 billion of which was due to paying down debt.

The Gains For the Rich got virtually no media coverage as usual

These are the most recent statistics issued by  The Central Statistics Office (CSO).In another recent release by the CSO, the SILC Report, it is shown that we now have 400,000 children living in households experiencing multiple forms of deprivation and 135,000 children are suffering daily material deprivation. The number of children living in consistent poverty – meaning they are living both at risk of poverty and experiencing deprivation – doubled from 6 per cent to just under 12 per cent between 2008 and 2013

Financial assets include shares, bank deposits and insurance policies on the positive side. Liabilities, which are deducted to get net financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt and bank loans to households (eg car loans)

Financial assets do not include any fixed assets such as homes, buy-to-lets, farms, land, business premises or factories and workshops.

Total F. assets     Total Liabilities        NET F. Assets

2006           310,899          172,052                   138,848          

2007            310,711          199,036                   111,675

2008           281,650           209,774                     71,876

2009           304,885           206,620                      98,264

2010            311,372           194,219                       117,153  

2011              310,093        189,982                        120,111 

2012               324,381          184,467                        139,914

2013                   342,735       177,805                        164,930

Nov 30

Anglo Bondholder List Leaked

International Financial Institutions Which invested in Anglo and to whom an Irish Government Paid Out 30 Billion Euro. We are now paying off the money borrowed for this purpose to other international financial institutions!

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/list-of-bondholders-in-anglo-irish-bank-leaked-110903209-237728261.html#=

UPDATE  Department of Finance Confirms Budget 2015 “Give-Away” to Rich

Department of Finance Press Officer Confirms that those on incomes over 100,000 Euro will gain a net 747 Eur per year from the combination of the tax and USC measures in Budget 2015

Sir, – The editorial “Taxing the self-employed” (October 24th) stated that the divide between PAYE workers and self-assessed workers has “widened further with the Government’s decision to make the self-employed pay an 11 per cent rate of universal social charge on earnings over €100,000”. To suggest the divide has widened as a result of changes introduced in Budget 2015 is simply not true.

The marginal tax rate for the self-employed earning over €100,000 has not altered with the changes introduced in Budget 2015. In 2014 self-assessed workers earning over €100,000 face a 55 per cent marginal tax rate comprised of 41 per cent income tax, 10 per cent USC and 4 per cent PRSI. Following the introduction of the measures introduced in Budget 2015, a self-assessed worker earning over €100,000 will continue to pay 55 per cent tax; however it will now be comprised of 40 per cent income tax, 11 per cent USC and 4 per cent PRSI.

These changes to rates will result in an increase in net income for the self-employed taxpayers at all income levels.

The factual position is that a single PAYE worker and a single self-assessed worker earning €100,000 will see an increase of €747 in their net income in 2015, as a result of the Budget 2015 changes. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN LOUGHNANE,

Press Officer,

Department of Finance,

Dublin 2.

UPDATE        Ireland More Prosperous than France and Germany!!    Irish Examiner Nov 3

“It might sound like a contradiction, but austerity hasn’t ruined our prosperity, according to a global study.

A report by the influential Legatum Institute places Ireland 12th out of 142 countries in its annual prosperity index, published today. That maintains the position we held last year and may signal an end to the slide that has seen us drop from a high of ninth in 2009. It also puts us one place ahead of Britain, and, somewhat surprisingly, two places ahead of Germany, while France could only manage 21st, Spain 26th and Italy 37th.

Norway makes the number one slot for the sixth year in a row. The index does not measure economic performance alone, but assesses countries on 90 indicators which are then collated under eight headings.”

August 30,2014

Because of the publicity given to bankruptcies of very rich Irish people, it maybe inferred that the Irish  rich generally are doing very badly. But it must be remembered that for every developer who bought over-priced sites and assets, there was another person or persons who has the large sum of money paid by the developer.

Many people also wrongly believe that Ireland has become a very poor country due to the banking crash. This may lead them to excuse cuts by government in spending on  health, education and other public services.

BUT NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!

“Ireland is still one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Gross Domestic Product (total of all goods and services produced) per head of population in Republic of Ireland is greater than that in Germany, France and the UK”  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

Irish Examiner Sept 16

The growing number of poor people in crisis-hit countries and among young people threatens the existence of the EU, warned the prestigious German think-tank which carried out the study.

Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.

Irish Times Sept 16

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/ireland-urged-to-do-more-for-its-vulnerable-population-1.1929914

“Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation ranked Ireland 18th among the EU 28 members, below Poland and Slovakia, in a survey of social justice in Europe.

“The foundation cited Ireland as an example of how high GDP per capita did not translate automatically into social justice for the population. “Ireland has a similarly high GDP per capita,similar to Sweden, but ranks considerably below average when it comes to social justice and counts as one of the biggest losers in the country comparison,” the report noted.” (Irish Times)

It is true that public finances are in an appalling state.

But this is because:

1)successive governments have refused to impose sufficiently high taxes on the incomes and assets of the super-rich Irish to pay for necessary public services

2) The current and previous government have agreed that the citizens of the state should pay the 67 Billion Euro which LARGE international investors had lent to privately owned Irish Banks when the banks crashed.(small shareholders were not rescued)

The official statistics on incomes and assets set out below show the obscene wealth of the super-rich Irish at this time. In summary, the top 10,000 income recipients have average declared incomes of 595,000 euro per year each. The financial assets (shares, bank deposits) of Irish households had already climbed back above 2006 boom levels in 2012

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro from 50 Billion to 62 Billion or a gain of 200 million euro each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

The overwhelming majority of  the  super-rich are active in the private sector of the economy. 

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

Read also UPDATE:Poorest Pay Most Tax on this Blog 

Average Per Capita Wealth

Gross Domestic Product (total of all goods and services produced) per head of population in Republic of Ireland is the 7th highest in EU-Higher than Germany, France and the UK  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

                            WEALTH OF IRISH SUPER-RICH

Financial Assets of Households      (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts Central Statistics Office 2012)

Total financial assets          Total Liabilities              NET Financial Assets

2006     310,899                  172,052                                         138,848

2007      310,711                199,036                                           111,675

2008      281,650                 209,774                                           71,876

2009      304,885               206,620                                             98,264

2010      311,372               194,219                                             117,153

2011      310,093               189,982                                             120,111

2012      324,381                 184,467                                            139,914

These figures show that net personal financial assets of all households have increased by 68 billion or by almost 100%(almost doubled since the low point of 2008 and both total financial assets and net financial assets are now above the peak 2006 level. (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts, CSO 2012)

Financial assets are mainly shares and bank deposits, the bulk of which are held by the rich. Houses, farms and business premises are not  financial assets and are not,therefore, included. The liabilities are bank loans,overdrafts, credit card debt, and household Mortgage Debt, the bulk of which are held by those on low and middle incomes

Thus the total financial asset figure is the better measure of the assets of the rich as many households have negative net financial assets.

 Average Per Capita Wealth

GDP per capita is the 7th highest in EU-Higher than Germany France and the UK  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

(This wealth is distributed most unfairly. According to Central Statistics Office (CSO) this unfairness has been worsened by the state budget for 2014- PH)

 Incomes of Irish Super-Rich 

The table below is compiled from a table issued by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan in reply to a parliamentary question on Oct 3,  2012 .  It is based on projections by the Revenue Commissioners of expected earnings and expected revenue in the current year(2012) given the distribution of incomes in 2009 and subsequent developments. NB Below Revenue=tax+PRSI+USC. Effective tax rate includes income tax, PRSI and Universal Social Charge

Income Tax 2012

Below  NO.=number of  earners; G.I.=Gross Income of all earners ;

Av. I.=Average Income per Earner, REV.=Total Revenue from all earners; E.T.R.=effective tax rate

Earners               NO.         G.I.             Av. I.         REV.     E.T.R

Top 10,000  10,000  €5,959m   €595,900  €2,321 m  39%         Average AFTER TAX INCOME 364,000
Top 1%  21,650   €8,742 m     €403,760   €3,349 m   38%       Average AFTER TAX INCOME     349,000
Top 5%  108,250  €20,122 m  €185,885   €7,145 m   36%       Average After Tax INCOME       €120,000

 

Top 10%  216,500  €29,600 m   €136,710  €9,849 m   33%    

Average after tax Income   €91,500   

  • Earners may be individuals or couples who have agreed to be taxed jointly. Revenue commissioners do not provide data for individuals only.
  •   revenue=income tax+ PRSI +Univ. Soc. Charge (effective      tax rate includes USC and PRSI)

Less than 6% of income recipients earning over 100,000  are in the public service and a large proportion of these are medical consultants

All of the top 10,000 tax payers who have  an average income of €595,900 each (Reply by Michael Noonan to parliamentary question)  are in the private sector.

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro to 62 Billion or 200 million each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

POOREST IRISH PEOPLE PAY MOST TAX!

Poor People Pay most Tax—-NERI   Aug  28, 2014

NEW research from the Nevin Economic Research Institute (funded by Irish Trade Unions) shows that the bottom 10% of the Irish Population pays the highest percentage of their income in tax whereas the richest 10% pay only 29.6% of their income when all direct and indirect taxes are taken into account.

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

More detailed discussion on this matter can be found in my post UPDATED: POOREST PEOPLE PAY MOST TAX    on this blog

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. anthony cassidy
    April 2, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    wow

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