Newspaper articles - 12th March, 2012
Long wait for PRSI refunds as claims soar - Irish Independent
THOUSANDS of workers who lost their jobs or emigrated during 2010 are still waiting for refunds of PRSI owed to them by the State. New figures show that the number of taxpayers seeking refunds of overpaid PRSI health contributions has soared to 165,000 since the Irish Independent highlighted the scale of the money owed.
Refunds averaging nearly €400 each are owed to thousands of people who earned less than €26,000 in 2010, but more than €500 in any one week, resulting in too much PRSI being deducted. So far, about 32,000 people have been repaid €12m -- an average payment of €375 each -- the latest figures show.
Pulling on the green jersey can pay off - Irish Times
The public exposure and access to power that St Patrick’s Day affords represents a unique opportunity that Irish businesses need to exploit to better effect. THE WORN cliché of “pulling on the green jersey” will be bandied about ad nauseam in the excited climax to St Patrick’s Day, amid an exodus to shore up support for Brand Ireland. But businesses are almost universally agreed that March 17th, a unique one-day gateway to the international arena, has benefits that can infiltrate the other 364 days of the year.
John Hartnett, founder and president of the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) based in Silicon Valley, has been working with US companies for 14 years and believes March 17th is a “phenomenal platform” that no other country can boast of. Ultimately, it lends itself to high-level access, once-off networking, invaluable press opportunities and, often, new contacts and contracts. But while Hartnett is complimentary of the work undertaken by the Government to promote Irish businesses and investment opportunities abroad using St Patrick’s Day as the launch pad, he is critical of the “love affair” with Washington and New York, when places such as Silicon Valley and Hollywood are key areas of employment and opportunity.
Food importer jailed for not paying €1.6m in garlic taxes - Irish Times
A DUBLIN food importer was yesterday jailed for six years for failing to pay €1.6 million in tax due on Chinese garlic, which attracts an “inexplicable” rate of import duty 24 times higher than other fruit and veg. Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told Paul Begley (46), of Begley Brothers in Blanchardstown, evaded paying duty on more than 1,000 tonnes of garlic from China by having it mislabelled as apples. The court heard the duty on garlic imports was up to 232 per cent, compared with just over 9 per cent for other fruits and vegetables.
Hogan gets go-ahead to use bills for tax dodger hunt - Irish Independent
ENVIRONMENT Minister Phil Hogan is set to use the information on ESB bills to catch household-charge dodgers after data protection concerns were addressed. So far, just 200,000 of the 1.6 million liable households have paid the €100 charge, with the March 31 deadline just weeks away.
Mr Hogan's department is now confident that it will be granted access to the records of householders' names and addresses held by the ESB following discussions with the Data Protection Commissioner. Other sources of information which will be used to identify those dodging the charge will include the databases of the Revenue, the Department of Social Protection and the second-home tax records held by the local authorities.
Warning to EU over carbon tax - Irish Times
European aviation bosses have urged political leaders to stop an escalating global row over an EU carbon levy, warning it is seriously threatening their industry. Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said that China - at the forefront of opposition to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) - had suspended orders for aircraft worth $12 billion, putting at least 2,000 positions at risk.
Alongside Mr Enders, eight chief executives of airlines and engine makers wrote to the leaders of Britain, France, Spain and Germany saying they expected "suspensions, cancellations and punitive actions to grow as other important markets continue to oppose ETS". "The aim must be to find a compromise solution and to have these punitive trade measures stopped before it is too late," the chief executives wrote in the letter. "We have always believed that only a global solution would be adequate to resolve the problem of global aviation emissions."