STOCKBROKERS URGE TAX CUTS TO STIMULATE ECONOMY - Bloxham Stockbrokers has come up with a ten-point plan for the economy, saying the Government has to take radical action to protect the domestic economy and position Ireland for future sustainable growth. Its chief economist Alan McQuaid says that the Government should consider lowering taxes, selling state assets and using some of the the National Pension Reserve to protect the domestic economy and strengthen it for sustainable growth.
Alan McQuaid said cutting taxes would provide a fiscal stimulus. He said that other countries - the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China - have all tried to implement some kind of stimulous recently either through lower interest rates or lower taxes, and that the European Central Bank and the euro zone is the only area that has 'done nothing so far'. He said that the onus is now on politicians across the euro zone to do something about weakening economies and that in Ireland income tax should be cut.
He also says that the Government's share in Aer Lingus should be sold off immediately and the sale of state assets like the ESB and CIE could raise between €8-15 billion. He says it's easy money for the Government.
The National Pensions Reserves Fund could be used to fund cheaper mortgages, he says. He says the fund is one of the top 20 sovereign wealth funds in the world and the money belongs to the taxpayer. He says the economy needs the money in the fund now and not 20 years down the road
CONFERENCE HEARS OF NEED FOR POSITIVE CHANGE - Innovation is the key to Ireland's prosperity in challenging economic times. So says Enterprise Ireland today at the National Innovation Forum. 330 compares are attending the event in Croke Park. Michael Moriarty, manager of Enterprise Ireland's innovation department, says that innovation is about positive change, about adding value to customers and improving competitiveness.
He says that an example of a good innovative company is Zignals. This is a new start-up firm that provides online investment decision support to average investors. This type of advice was previously only available to the major customers of banks and stockbrokers.
MORNING BRIEFS - Fyffes warned again this morning that its full year profits are going to be hit by high fuel costs, higher fruit costs and a strengthening dollar. That will result in higher prices for its tropical fruit. In results for the first six months of the year, Fyffes said revenue to the end of June was up 5.6% at €302m, as selling prices were higher and volumes sold were similar to last year.
*** Alcon, a firm which makes eyecare products, is investing €21m in its Cork plant and creating 186 new jobs. The US firm is the world's biggest maker of lenses and other products devices for eyes. It already employs 200 people in Cork.
*** Eirgrid, the company which runs the national electricity grid, says Ireland should have enough generating capacity for this winter. In its winter outlook Eirgrid says it expects electricity demand to grow by 2 to 4.5% this year compared with 2007.
*** A report from telecoms regulator ComReg says the number of broadband subscriptions in Ireland has gone over a million for the first time, and that in the second three months of the year subscriptions grew by 6.4%. Now within those figures, ComReg counts mobile broadband connections which are provided by mobile phone companies. A number of people say that does not count as a proper broadband connection, but all the same its use has brought the mobile penetration rate 24.3% in Ireland. Without it, broadband penetration is 19.2%. Meanwhile mobile phone penetration stood at 120% at the end of the June, and almost 80,000 people switched mobile phone companies.
*** On the currency markets, the euro is trading at $1.3964 cents and 79.69 pence sterling.