Public policy centre

Welcome to Chartered Accountants Ireland’s public policy centre.

We use our research to inform the public policy debate both nationally and internationally.

Public policy snippets Read about the public policy issues making headlines this week which include the results in the European Parliament elections in Ireland’s South constituency, a plea for no more Brexit delays from French President Emmanuel Macron and calls for the EU to limit greenhouse gas emissions to protect human health. EU elections update The proposed recount due to take place in Ireland’s South constituency was called off this week with Sinn Féin’s Líadh Ní Riada conceding defeat.   Independent’s for Change Mick Wallace, Green Party senator Grace O’Sullivan and outgoing MEP Deirdre Clune (Fine Gael) all join Sean Kelly (Fine Gael) and Billy Kelleher (Fianna Fáil) as the five MEPs elected.  Deirdre Clune took the last remaining seat which will not be taken up until the UK leaves the EU. Northern Ireland talks Referring to the new phase of political talks in Northern Ireland that was announced on 26 April, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley and the Tánaiste Simon Coveney gave an update last weekend to the Taoiseach and UK Prime Minister on progress since then. Welcoming the constructive engagement shown by all parties, both noted that while broad consensus has been reached on some issues, other areas remain to be resolved.  Therefore in order to capitalise on a “narrow window of opportunity”, talks must be intensified in order to “shape a final agreement”. No more Brexit delays, says French President French President Emmanuel Macron has said that 31 October should be the "final" deadline for the UK’s departure from the EU. The French President was opposed to the EU granting the UK a long extension when the departure date was delayed from 29 March until the end of October.  Speaking in Paris with members of the International Monetary Conference, Mr Macron said "I think this is the final, final deadline." Limit greenhouse gas emissions urgently As climate change intensifies, health risks will increase particularly among the elderly and sick children.  That’s according to a new report carried out by the Royal Irish Academy and the European Science Academies Climate Change working group.  The report says there are seven million infants in Europe who are living in areas where air pollution exceeds World Health Organisation recommended limits.  The working group is calling on the EU to intensify its efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions to protect human health.  And finally… Do you read the terms and conditions when signing up for free Wi-Fi in public places? Looks like few do.  The result: 22,000 people unwittingly agreeing to do 1,000 hours of community service including scraping chewing gum off the streets and cleaning toilets at festivals.  The joke clause was included in the terms and conditions of a Wi-Fi company in Manchester to show the lack of consumer awareness when signing up to free things. Only one beady eye subscriber noticed the terms and was rewarded with a prize! Read all our updates in our Public Policy webcentre.  

Jun 06, 2019
Tax

Read about the public policy issues making headlines in the past week including a chance to give your opinion on the public risks facing Ireland. Give your opinion on the public risks facing Ireland The Irish Government has published the Draft National Risk Assessment for 2019 and is asking members of the public to give their views about what they regard as the most significant risks facing Ireland in 2019.  Climate change, international trade tensions, Brexit and international tax changes are some of the potential risks facing Ireland. Chartered Accountants Ireland is encouraging members to express their views by completing a questionnaire.  The closing date is Tuesday 25 June 2019.  You can access the questionnaire using this link and can also read the statement accompanying the consultation. Don’t say we didn’t warn you That’s the message from China to the US last week when it threatened to cut off rare earth minerals as a countermeasure against the escalating trade war with the US. The rare earth materials are a critical component in the manufacture of iPhones and electric vehicles in the US. The People’s Daily which is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China reportedly published “We advise the U.S. side not to underestimate the Chinese side’s ability to safeguard its development rights and interests. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” in a piece titled “United States, don’t underestimate China’s ability to strike back.” Back to Brexit – car production falls dramatically in the UK Car factories shut down in April in the UK to cope with disruption from a 29 March Brexit and this resulted in UK car production being cut in half for the month of April.  Car factories normally incorporate a shutdown period over the summer but this was brought forward to April to cope with the supply chain disruption that Brexit might have brought and give manufacturers time to learn new customs procedures.   According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), despite the fact that Brexit was delayed until 31 October, the postponement came too late for factories to change plans, prompting a dramatic reduction in output. EU negotiator to lead trade unit The EU’s deputy Brexit negotiator, Sabine Weyand, will lead the EU Commission’s trade unit in Brussels from June. This means she will be front and centre in the future talks with the UK on its future relationship with the EU after Brexit.  Read more.  

Jun 04, 2019
Tax

Individual country results continue to be finalised across the EU in the European Parliament elections. The results so far reflect a boost for Green and far right parties with centrist groups suffering but perhaps not as much as predicted. EU results – rise of the Greens Across the EU, after voter decline in recent years, turnout for the 2019 elections is the highest in 20 years.  The results look as though the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and centre-left Socialists and Democrats (the S&D) parties in the Parliament have lost their combined majority as Greens, liberals and nationalists see an increase in support.  Pro-EU parties will still hold a majority of seats, despite the rise in support for populist and far-right parties. Keep up to date with the election results as they are finalised on the European Parliament’s website. The results in Ireland so far are as follows:  Dublin South ** Midlands – North - West Ciaran Cuffe – Green Party Sean Kelly – Fine Gael Mairead McGuinness – Fine Gael Frances Fitzgerald – Fine Gael Billy Kelleher – Fine Fáil Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan – Independent Clare Daly – Independents for Change To be filled** Matt Carthy – Sinn Féin Barry Andrews* – Fine Fáil To be filled** Maria Walsh – Fine Gael   *will only take up seat when the UK leaves the EU. ** a full recount was ordered but subsequently withdrawn in the South constituency. The transfer of remaining votes is currently taking place.    Northern Ireland Martina Anderson (Sinn Féin), Diane Dodds (DUP) and Naomi Long (Alliance Party) took the three seats in Northern Ireland. Britain In Britain, Nigel Farage’s new pro-Brexit Party was the big winner so far in the European Parliament elections taking almost a third of the vote (30.75 percent), followed by the pro-European Liberal Democrats (19.76 percent).  It was a difficult election for the Conservative and Labour parties with the Tories recording 8.85 percent of the vote; its lowest since 1832.  With both pro and anti-Brexit parties topping the polls in the UK, these results might be a reflection of just how tight a second Brexit referendum result could be. Voter turnout Turnout across the EU averaged 51 percent with Belgium recording the highest number of voters with almost 89 percent of the electorate turning out.  Ireland recorded 49.7 percent turnout, while the UK had 36.9 percent.  Slovakia had the lowest turnout in terms of voters with 22.74 percent. 

Jun 04, 2019

Pensions in Ireland - A responsible way forward

A significant majority of Chartered Accountants are worried about Ireland's pension deficit and favour pension auto-enrolment to guard against poverty in retirement.

In its research report, Chartered Accountants Ireland examines the challenge of an ageing population in Ireland, the reasons that some private sector workers do not provide for their pensions and also looks at a number of different pension funding models used in other countries.

Chartered Accountants Ireland has over 26,000 members working in every sector on the island of Ireland, and is uniquely placed to identify the challenges that the pension deficit will bring.

Read our report on the PDF below.

CTA - Pensions in Ireland-min
NEWS BODY - Pensions in Ireland A responsible way forward-min

Seminar : Pensions under the spotlight
Chartered Accountants Ireland’s members engaged in a comprehensive discussion on the private pension crisis in Ireland at a seminar with Institute President Shauna Greely held in Dublin last Tuesday evening (6 March 2018). 

The event also saw the formal launch of the Institute’s report Pensions in Ireland: A responsible way forward which advocates auto-enrolment. View photos from the event >>>