Welcome to our 2013 Autumn Newsletter. As the long summer draws to a close, we face into the autumn more invigorated as the good weather seems to have lifted the national mood to a certain extent. Depending on the business or industry you are in there is a general feeling that the economy is improving. Certainly some of the statistical indicators are positive and there is much anecdotal evidence of an improving economy, however for many it may take a while yet for that to permeate down to some tangible benefits or results in their business.
The government decision whether by choice or forced upon it by the Troika, to bring the budget forward to mid-October is to be welcomed. Last year, indeed for several years now we have been subject to a prolonged period of political “rumour, conditioning and kite flying” from September to December which created fear, uncertainty and a paralysis of decision making among people which in turn contributed to a reluctance to consume and spend and stymied many businesses. While the outcome of the budget will no doubt be a combination of further spending cuts and tax increases as an adjustment of circa €2.5bn to €3.1bn is required at least people will have certainty, know where they stand and be able to plan accordingly which will hopefully be good for business. Uncertainty breeds indecision, which is never good for the economy or marketplace.
There will be plenty political discussion over the autumn on our proposed or impending exit from the bailout. There’s little doubt that we will require what some will call a “second bailout” and others will label a “soft line of credit” to see us through 2014 and perhaps 2015 as the government embarks on a delicate balancing act of increasing taxes, reducing expenditure and seeking growth in the economy to bring our budget deficit back into line with levels acceptable to the EU and international markets. As this process unfolds what will be of significant interest to many is level of external monitoring and influence that will be imposed upon us going forward and whether our political system has learned from the mistakes of the past and be robust enough to keep public expenditure in check, resist the overtures of interest groups, make difficult and unpopular choices and avoid “auction politics” in the run up to elections. That’s the question that has to be answered before we can truly claim to have emerged from the crisis and evolved as a nation and a people.
The new Insolvency legislation while welcome in many quarters is in its infancy at present with many believing that the banks as yet aren't capable of the necessary decision making for it to have an immediate impact. Seasoned observers suggest there will be a period of testing and probing before the various insolvency arrangements and outcomes will become evidently workable but at least it’s finally up and running and provides a credible solution to many. At Quintas we are delighted that Mark Ryan was one of the first to be given a Personal Insolvency Practitioners licence and has already commenced dealing with some individuals who will benefit from the new legislative provisions.
Quintas were delighted to be involved with Mercy Hospital Foundation as sponsors of their recent “Mercy Stars” awards event which recognises the outstanding work done across the various departments in the hospital. The MC for the evening was Nora Casey and interestingly the loudest cheer and most popular winner on the night was the canteen staff and deservedly so. It was great to see an organisation such as the Mercy recognising the contribution of its staff and raising valuable funds in the process. Thanks to Micheal Sheridan & Eimear Keohane of the Mercy Hospital Foundation for a fantastic evening which was very well organised and attended.
My thanks as always to the contributors in this edition of the Newsletter which include following:
- Julie Murray on the and innovative and increasingly popular phenomenal of “Crowd Funding”
- James McCarthy on the quarterly economic data and the possible need for additional funding as we prepare to exit the bailout programme.
- Lynda McAulliffe on the critical importance of keeping your life assurance in place and up to date while trying to make savings with your outgoings.
- Abina Kenneally on the areas of risk in a Revenue Audit and some recent developments in the area of tax.
If I or any of my colleagues can be of assistance to you we would be delighted to receive your call.
Fachtna O'Mahony, Partner