- Scotland tax spend per person: £12,800
- UK average tax raised per person: £11,400
Latest News & Updates
No matter what side of the political fence you stand on, Brexit negotiations and the uncertainty surrounding it will affect millions of households all across the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland.
The Irish economy continues to grow; however, this could be threatened depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations. The Central Bank has stated that the level of both public and household debt is a concern.
The Central Bank’s first Macro-Financial Review of 2018 indicates the domestic economy is “growing substantially’, however, this has a lot of potential risks associated with it. The organisation’s assessment considers all progress made to reduce both private and public debt and non-performing loans (NPLs) within the financial sector.
Ireland’s economy’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to increase by 4.8% in 2018, and 4.2% in 2019. The review notes that “business sentiment has been improving over recent quarters and increased building and construction is contributing to investment growth”. The report also highlights that, while Brexit is “a key risk to the Irish economy, there’s also a concern that as the economy approaches full employment, upward pressure on wages and skills shortages, as well as infrastructure deficiencies, could threaten competitiveness”. Furthermore, changes affecting international corporate tax rates may hinder overseas investment as well as economic performance.
The Central Bank’s review also highlights the following Brexit-related risks that could potentially harm the Irish economy:• Both domestic businesses and households are likely to delay any investment decisions until there is a clear trading relationship with the UK. • UK and Irish economic growth could affect Irish bank loans due to Brexit related slowdowns. • Irish banks could face potential challenges when looking to issue debt through the UK. • UK insurance companies may potentially no longer be able to trade in Ireland, this will affect competitiveness and limit the number of available products.
Household and public debt levels
There are a number of other associated risks to the wider economy and financial system, in relation to household and public debt. These include the following:• International financial market valuations of assets – some have been overestimated and are vulnerable to market sentiment change. • Increased growth in residential property prices. • Property related lending in relation to bank exposure. • Large levels of public and household debt – household debt is the 4th largest amount within the EU. • A small number of companies account for a large share of corporation tax – changes in the political landscape could leave the country exposed financially. • Many international companies bring a large level of direct foreign investment to Ireland, changes in international tax agreements by the EU and the US would pose a threat.
The Macro-Financial Review highlights that the household sector has benefited from an improvement to labour market conditions and low interest rates. However, Irish households, like many other countries, remain highly indebted and could be affected by the following:• Employment • Household income • Significant changes to Interest rates
Total mortgage lending has become more stable after a long construction duration; however, the use of consumer credit is increasing. Those who are struggling with personal loans, pay day loans, credit cards, catalogues and overdrafts are recommend to contact Refresh Debt Service, the company provides expert impartial advice and guidance.
The report states that “A large number of households remain in late-stage arrears.” Rent and residential property prices are seeing strong growth, a shortage of available residential properties is just one contributing factor. Although construction activity has been increasing, the availability of new properties still remains far below housing demand levels. The number of mortgage accounts in arrears continues to decrease.
As changes take place in relation to Brexit and the overall health of the UK economy, we hope to keep you updated.
Borrow, don’t buyInstead of whiling away the limited money you have on Netflix to watch movies and your favorite series or read your favorite books online. Take advantage and maximize the utility of movie catalogs and magazines available in the college.
Pack a snackFor those hectic days where you may have to sit long hours in college, pack your meals and drinks rather than paying for a higher-priced version of them available in the college.
Stay for refillsUse your time wisely, knowledge and financial wise. Instead of getting top dollar coffees to go, stay and socialize or work as there are specific spots that do provide refills on drinks, having you drink coffee for free while saving cash.
Eat together with friendsHave coordinated meal plans on certain days with your friends where you can pitch in together small amounts of cash to get large amounts of food.
Use couponsAvailing coupons in hand does help save money as they contain certain large amounts of cash or discount available on purchases that end up spending little or no money at all. Always remember to use coupons when in hand.
Work and saveSeek jobs that provide pay accompanied by benefits. Ideal part-time jobs are those that offer reasonable compensation with perks like free food to employees, ending you up with more money and cut down on unnecessary expenses.
Find the freeBe aware of college events that offer free food and drinks as well as restaurants and other eateries that offer student discounts on meals.
Reuse and recycleSell off your old clothes and anything you don’t wear for making an easy buck. You can do this by being active in online communities that sell and buy clothes, furniture, book, and other items.
Shop at a dollar storeYou can save a lot by shopping in dollar stores. You can seek and purchase cleansers, supplies, and medicines for a fraction of their price.
Stick to your budgetMake time to calculate your income and expenses weekly or monthly and then set a sensible budget plan that is comfortable for you and helps you stick to it.
Keep it real
Set up auto draft
Plan your meals
Break it up
Consult your social calendar
Wait it out
Drop the credit card
Use a budget buddy
Exiting the European Union will have many positive and negative effects on the UK economy, some big, some small. Energy is one of those areas due to be affected by the political landscape from March 2019.
One major concern for the UK population, aside from currency fluctuations and job security, is rising energy prices. Millions of residents have already faced two rounds of price hikes this year due to rising wholesale prices for gas and electricity. Any additional costs would certainly have a negative impact on household finances. This uncertainty around the energy market is leading more people to question what energy tariff they should be selecting when they compare energy prices.
Right now, part of your energy bill helps to invest in renewable energy sources and facilitate the research of energy improvements, to meet green energy and pollution targets that are set by the European Union. These targets could potentially differ when the UK is set to leave. It is extremely unlikely that they would be scrapped, there is a possibility that initiatives to increase green energy and reduce pollution could potentially be scaled upwards, which may lead to an additional outlay on customers’ bills. Here’s how Brexit could also increase the cost of household and business energy bills:
- Reduction in EU investment
- Leaving the EU Emission Trading System
- No replacement or solution for Euratom
- Rising transportation costs
The Big Six are likely to be less affected by this change, in comparison to many smaller energy firms in the UK. This is by way of their financial power to absorb fluctuating wholesale prices and currency exchange rates should they wish to do so. Only British Gas and SSE are UK-owned. EDF is French, Scottish Power is owned by Spanish firm Iberdrola, and Npower and Eon are German.
A ‘no deal’ scenario currently remains unlikely when the UK is due to leave the European Union. A fair outcome needs to be negotiated as soon as possible. As negotiations progress, the government will still be required to have a contingency plan for any final eventuality, this includes a ‘no deal’ scenario. According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the UK government has been working to ensure there is a plan in place for ‘day 1 in all scenarios…’.
It’s imperative for the UK government to inform residents and businesses what they will be required to do if there was a ‘no deal’ scenario, to help them prepare for the road ahead.
The UK’s gas and electricity trade with the EU27 has an annual value of around £6billion. Natural gas equates to 80% of this. The UK currently imports gas from EU27, but is far more reliant on gas imports from Norway. Right now, electricity is imported from Ireland, France, and Netherlands. These imports account for around 7.5% of the UK’s total consumption. If new interconnector capacity is delivered under new plans, this will likely increase.
UK wholesale prices for electricity are generally higher than those in the EU27. Leading this energy charge is the capital city, London. It is estimated that around 25% of all oil trading across the world takes place in this city. Clearing services, energy derivatives, and physical trading for gas and electricity markets in the EU also takes place in the United Kingdom.
InterContinental Exchange (ICE), based in London, is a leading global energy exchange and trading hub for European energy. London participates in a vital role to determine the energy market reference price.
All European Union rules for energy market regulation will no longer be applicable to the UK, under a ‘no deal’ or a failure to implement trade agreements scenario. All UK based energy operators will no longer be able to participate in the rules that enable physical interconnection of our energy markets.
We’re not suggesting that power to homes will be cut, but the impact could see wholesale electricity prices increase amongst other changes to the energy market. It is worth noting that some government officials have warned that a ‘no deal’ Brexit could lead to electricity blackouts across Northern Ireland. A shortage of supply and the risk of increasing electricity prices will be a major concern.
The EU does not have a tariff for gas and electricity imports from other WTO members, this means that gas and electricity between the UK and the EU27 would remain tariff-free. Unfortunately, this does not immediately apply to energy plant and materials supply across these borders, these may be subject to a tariff barrier
A solution will need to be found if London wishes to continue to lead the charge for European gas, electricity, oil, and emissions trading under the financial services sector. However, under a ‘no deal’ scenario, UK authorised energy firms may not be able to trade freely within the EU’s Single Market.
At this stage, there is a lot of speculation about what will and will not happen. This will hopefully become clearer as announcements are made while the negotiation process is underway.