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Thread: How do we compare with the UK in key competitive factors needed for economic growth?

  1. #1
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    Default How do we compare with the UK in key competitive factors needed for economic growth?

    According to a survey of leading UK executives in the October 25th The Times article "Investment being driven abroad by tax and skill worries,says CBI" (link unavailable),the UK has lost international competitiveness in the past decade. In a chart showing "percent balance" scores on competitive factors,most scores were negative,with the worst declines as eyeballed roughly being:
    1)Personal taxation levels (-85%)
    2)Nature/level of regulation (-65%)
    3)Business taxation levels (-50%)
    4)Availability of land/planning restrictions (-32%)
    5)Ability to attract internationally mobile key staff (-20%)

    Scores for some remaining measures were:
    1a)Infrastructure (-15%)
    2a)Availability of trained/skilled workforce (-10%)

    How does Ireland compare? Our personal tax levels may be worse than the UK's when the government completes its frenzy of tax increases in all of Lenihan's budgets,so I score it (-100%) for 1).

    Regulation in the UK seems to be a lot more PC than here. But we have our share of regulatory bogs as shown in 18 separate pieces of legislation on labour law,vast numbers of regulations and laws on restaurants and meddlesome minimum wage laws across many industrial sectors. Score (-20%) on 2).

    Business taxation is our strongest competitive card,although Eastern Europe is copying our tax friendly ways. Score +70% on 3).

    Availability of land has improved thanks to the economic depression and hopefully with more time on their hands,planners will be able to cut the 10 year timetable for getting a commercial project shovel ready in the Celtic Tiger days. Score +50% for 4).

    On infrastructure,completion of a large motorways networks,improvement in rail services,a belated catch-up in broadband and increased airline connections have more than offset the disastrous deterioration in the banking system's utility functions and lending capacity. Score +50% on 1a).

    Ability to attract internationally mobile staff has declined due to increases in personal taxation but may benefit from the stupid Draconian limits on non-EU immigration imposed by the UK Tories,limits that apply even to top scientists. Score (-15%) on 2a).

    Despite huge investment,Availability of trained/skilled workforce in the UK has been hampered by too many schemes.This sounds like FAS's habit of running courses in every political constituency. Still,Ireland's economic depression has made a huge pool of skills available,so score +70% on 2a) as it's an ill wind that blows nobody good. Our score would be better if we could persuade Irish youth to learn European languages. Then a company like Google wouldn't have to hire 70% of its workforce from abroad.

    In summary,Ireland's changes in competitiveness compare well with the UK's,except for the increasing personal tax burden which is largely thanks to the Croke Park agreement to maintain overpaid public sector pay and gold plated pensions.
    Last edited by patslatt; 25th October 2010 at 07:56 PM.

  2. #2

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    You sure Taxation in Ireland will be worse than the UK ?

    Take into account Council tax, Water charges...........2,500 to 3,000 for a household.

    UK resident would have to earn 8,000 more just to pay these to be at same level if both countries taxes were the same.

    Wages are lower in UK despite what people think as see the jobs advertised here and the ones advertised in local media when I am over there and clearly wage rates here are above what I would see there allied with a lower minimum wage.

    UK has huge structural issues in 5-7 million people who have not worked in last 12 years and that will be the biggest challenge in the UK.

    I think Ireland is still better placed to recover quicker but the old way of using Construction industry to create jobs is over.

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    Default The relative trend in tax

    Quote Originally Posted by odie1kanobe View Post
    You sure Taxation in Ireland will be worse than the UK ?

    Take into account Council tax, Water charges...........2,500 to 3,000 for a household.

    UK resident would have to earn 8,000 more just to pay these to be at same level if both countries taxes were the same.

    Wages are lower in UK despite what people think as see the jobs advertised here and the ones advertised in local media when I am over there and clearly wage rates here are above what I would see there allied with a lower minimum wage.

    UK has huge structural issues in 5-7 million people who have not worked in last 12 years and that will be the biggest challenge in the UK.

    I think Ireland is still better placed to recover quicker but the old way of using Construction industry to create jobs is over.
    Personal tax is getting worse relative to the UK over the past decade thanks largely to the frenzy of tax increases in Lenihan's budgets. Rumoured tax increases under the four year austerity plan will be severe. However,the absolute level of personal taxes is higher in the UK-for the moment.

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by patslatt View Post
    5)Ability to attract internationally mobile key staff (-20%)
    This one is a real pain here - the regulations are a lot more complex than in the UK. Its next to impossible for a sme to hire a non-EU national for anything except a top-level position. Mid-level engineers can't be non-EU, unless you are a multinational with a team of lawyers to fill out the forms.

    We were recently trying to hire a highly specialised engineer - the only guy who fit the bill was non-EU and had been living and working in dublin for years. But he was non-EU and so it would have taken months to hire him. We went with a less qualified candidate.

    Business travel is a major pain if you do hire a non-eu person. They need visas for everywhere and they can't even travel to Belfast or London or Paris without queuing for a visa. If Ireland were in Schengen, this would be a hundred times easier. The best people don't want to come to Ireland and end up effectively stuck here and unable to travel - they have the choice to work in Germany of Holland, and they can travel anywhere with no problems.

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    Default Gombeen immigration policy

    Quote Originally Posted by seabhcan View Post
    This one is a real pain here - the regulations are a lot more complex than in the UK. Its next to impossible for a sme to hire a non-EU national for anything except a top-level position. Mid-level engineers can't be non-EU, unless you are a multinational with a team of lawyers to fill out the forms.

    We were recently trying to hire a highly specialised engineer - the only guy who fit the bill was non-EU and had been living and working in dublin for years. But he was non-EU and so it would have taken months to hire him. We went with a less qualified candidate.

    Business travel is a major pain if you do hire a non-eu person. They need visas for everywhere and they can't even travel to Belfast or London or Paris without queuing for a visa. If Ireland were in Schengen, this would be a hundred times easier. The best people don't want to come to Ireland and end up effectively stuck here and unable to travel - they have the choice to work in Germany of Holland, and they can travel anywhere with no problems.
    Irish news media have been asleep at the switch on the difficulty of recruiting non-EU executives and technical people who can play an essential role in Irish businesses,especially those competing intrernationally. Is there one rule for the big multinationals and a different one for the rest? There has been no debate on this AFAIK. The legalistic approach is silly but better than nothing. Maybe a panel of experienced business people should be set up to adjudicate on the merits of applications.

    As for Schengen,has the UK put diplomatic pressure on Ireland to keep out as a price for Irish citizens' unrestricted entry to the UK?

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