Brian Hayes MEP for Dublin today welcomed new EU measures which mean that as of January 1st Irish consumers buying goods and services from an online vendor in Europe will pay VAT at Irish rates.
“Currently Irish consumers who buy online from a European vendor have to pay VAT in the country of the vendor but this will change from January 1st. As a net recipient of online services, Ireland stands to win big over the next number of years – it is estimated that Ireland will gain VAT revenues of €100m in 2015, rising to €150m in 2019,” said Mr. Hayes.
“E-commerce has been growing substantially in recent years and it is crucial that our government ensures that we develop our VAT system in line with growing international trends in technology.”
“The new VAT rules ensure that there will be more competition with other EU Member States. Online trading firms will no longer be able to use countries like Luxembourg for their low VAT rates.”
“Ireland’s position as a hub for international technology firms means that we could potentially be the go-to location for non-resident European companies to register VAT sales to other European countries.”
Brian Hayes MEP today questioned the logic of the proposed 20% deposit rule considering the rental market in Ireland does not offer a proper alternative to home ownership for many people.
“Our housing market is in serious trouble at the moment. Standard variable rates are a rip-off. We don’t have a market for reasonably priced long-term fixed interest mortgages like they do in many other European countries. And importantly, people have no alternative. There are huge financial advantages to owning a home but for those who feel they cannot afford to buy a home, we don’t have a rental system that offers any long-term security,” said Mr. Hayes.
“The Central Bank’s proposed 20% deposit requirements and a Loan to Income ratio of 3.5 would put home ownership beyond many people, especially first-time buyers in Dublin where the average cost of a home is now €350,000. Under the new rules first time buyers in Dublin will need a €70,000 deposit and income levels of €100,000.”
“In Dublin rents have spiralled out of control. The average rent is now €1,372 a month – this is a 30% increase from 2012 and only slightly lower than prices in 2007. Overall Dublin property prices rose by 24% since last year, while general inflation was only 0.2%,” added Mr. Hayes.
“An Irish housing tenant faces huge uncertainties. The balance between landlord and tenant needs to be adjusted in favour of the tenant if we are to develop a mature housing rental market in Ireland.”
“Supply of housing is a major issue in this debate, especially in Dublin. This is driving prices up. The government’s social housing strategy which aims to bring 35,000 additional social housing units into the market by 2020 will make a difference. But we have been to slow to react to the increase in demand in Dublin and we are now left with a housing market which has flawed structures and is vastly undersupplied,” concluded Mr. Hayes.
Fine Gael Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today cautioned consumers to be aware of hidden charges when it comes to using apps on smarts phones.
“With Christmas just around the corner, people need to be aware of their rights in buying a smart phone and downloading apps. People are lured into believing by Apple and Google that an app is free, when it’s not.”
“Smartphone users are often not aware of many additional charges associated with some apps. Just because an app is free to download, doesn’t mean that charges won’t apply when in use. Photo editing apps where you can purchase additional filters or games are often the biggest offenders with hidden charges.
“The European Commission are on to this. The Apple Store previously advertised its app’s as ‘Free’. Now they have been directed by the European Commission into changing the word ‘Free’ to ‘Get’.”
“While I welcome this progress – more needs to be done. The Apple App Store and Google Play Store require passwords when downloading new apps. However, once the password is entered the first time, users have 15 minutes where they can make purchases and downloads without entering the password again. While options exist to change this, it is not well known.” Concluded Mr Hayes
Fine Gael MEP and ECON member, Brian Hayes, this morning responded to the news that the ECB will not attend the upcoming banking inquiry.
“Clearly this is a grave disappointment given the central role of the ECB in Ireland’s banking collapse. I’ve questioned President Mario Draghi on this matter on two separate occasions in the last four months. On each occasion I was left with a clear impression that the ECB were looking at ways to engage with the Irish banking inquiry.”
“Given President Draghi’s comments that the ECB is accountable to the European Parliament, it is incumbent on us as MEPs to seek a resolution of this stand off by the ECB. I have repeatedly said that the Banking Inquiry under the chairmanship of Ciaran Lynch TD is not a witch hunt but rather a serious attempt to find out what happened.”
“I am already looking at ways how the European Parliament could facilitate ECB cooperation with the Inquiry. President Draghi has previously appeared before the Spanish Parliament in February 2013 and the French National Assembly in June 2013 to defend ECB actions in a number of areas.”
Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today welcomed the re-election of Emily O’Reilly as EU Ombudsman. Ombudsman O’Reilly was elected by 569 to 66 votes. Ms O’Reilly originally took up the position in July 2013
Commenting on Ombudsman O’Reilly re-election Mr Hayes said:
“I am delighted to see Emily O’Reilly continue in this role. Since her appointment in July 2013 she has served the citizens of Europe well. She has worked hard, efficiently and showing great determination. The overwhelming support she received by MEPs today is evidence of that.”
“Ireland has a great track record when it comes to holding senior positions in Europe. These include the current Secretary General of the European Commission, Catherine Day, former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox, Former EU Ambassador to the US John Bruton as well the current ambassador David O’Sullivan.”
“I wish Ombudsman O’Reilly every success in her tenure”
During the first 15 days, 340,000 people attended the inaugural Dublin Christmas Market at St Stephen’s Green. Minister Simon Harris and Brian Hayes MEP met today with Richard Guiney, Chief Executive of DublinTown to discuss the success of this year’s market and look at options to extend the market in the future.
“DublinTown brought the idea of a Christmas Market to me when I was Minister for the OPW. Together we worked to secure approval for it. I am delighted to be here today and see that idea in real life.” said Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes
Speaking about the future of the Dublin Christmas Market, Minister for the OPW, Simon Harris said:
“I am pleased to hear that during the first weekend of the market, over 400 people were surveyed and 71% said that the market encouraged them to shop elsewhere in the city centre. I look forward to reviewing the impact of the Christmas market and continuing to do all that I can in order to promote the best possible Christmas experience for residents and visitors to the city.
Commenting on the success of the traditional Christmas Market, Richard Guiney, Chief Executive of DublinTown said:
“The market was created in direct response to requests by members of the public. Surveys including Dublin City Council’s Your City Your Voice told us that there was an appetite for a Christmas Market. Bringing the market together has been a real team effort involving the business community, the OPW, Dublin City Council and the Gardaí. Brian Hayes in particular was instrumental in the realisation of the market, and we are very grateful for the continued support of Minister Simon Harris.”