CPA REPORT WARNS OF DEVELOPMENT OF TWO SPEED ECONOMY - The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland has carried out a report into entrepreneurship in Ireland. It is their second report - the first having been carried out in 2010. Today's report warns that a two speed economy is developing with companies reliant on exports flourishing while those reliant on the domestic market continue to struggle. But it points to a positive attitude among business start-ups - they believe that the climate towards entrepreneurship is improving.

Eamon Siggins, chief executive of the CPA, says a lot of work had been done to make the climate towards entrepreneurship more hospitable. "Access to finance has improved. Enterprise Ireland and the County Enterprise Boards are doing great work on the ground. The burden on red tape on business has reduced," he explains. However, he points out that a lot of progress still has to be made and a number of stumbling blocks remain. "We still don't have a national entrepreneurship strategy. The Government should have a focus on the black economy and the culture of late payments that has emerged. Some case can be made for targeted tax incentives to target employment growth,'' he says. Eamon Siggins says the incoming Personal Insolvency Bill was a welcome initiative, which the CPA had lobbied for. "It will ease the burden or stigma attached to bankruptcy and it will allow entrepreneurs to get back in the saddle in a shorter timeframe than before, albeit with severe penalties attached," he states. The CPA also welcomed the initiatives introduced in last week's budget but said more could have been done. "The focus on SMEs and the acknowledgement that the domestic economy remains difficult is a good starting point. The ten point tax reform plan is an excellent start and we will measure progress against it," Eamon Siggins concludes.


MORNING BRIEFS - 30 new jobs have been announced for Dublin. The new jobs are at a company called Kobo, which publishes e-Books across a wide range of platforms including smart phones, tablets, PCs and readers. The Japanese owned company will establish a software development centre here - the jobs are at the hi-tech end of the spectrum.

*** Two mining companies have announced significant results from soil sampling and drilling in the southeast. IMC Exploration announced high gold results from drilling in Wexford. And Connemara Mining has announced two new gold zones on its Wicklow/Wexford exploration licence following a major round of soil sampling. These results were uncovered in areas that were previously untested.

*** Science Foundation Ireland will be able to fund applied research following the publication of the new Industrial Development Bill. It is being published by Ministers Richard Bruton and Sean Sherlock today. At the moment, SFI can fund basic research but this new remit allows it to take projects closer to market which will boost the potential of the projects to develop into commercial entities and yield jobs. The Bill also includes a new function to enable SFI to promote and support awareness and understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

*** A close eye is being kept on the US Federal Reserve monthly meeting. An announcement is expected tonight on the successor to Operation Twist - this was a programme of US treasury purchases which was funded by the sale of shorter term bonds. A new round of bond buying is expected to be announced tonight and Fed chief Ben Bernanke is expected to repeat his pledge to continue the policy until the jobs market improves.