Donie’s news Ireland daily Blog Wednesday

Wednesday 11th July 2012

Over 40% of Irish people are not saving for rainy days ‘A new survey finds’


Many thousands of Irish people are not putting any money aside for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, a new survey has found.

The Nationwide UK (Ireland)ESRI Savings Index found 43 per cent of Irish people do not put any money away in banks or building societies – the highest level of non-saving recorded since the survey began in 2010 and an increase from 35 per cent a year ago.

Among the over-50s, almost half (49 per cent) are not saving at all, an increase from 42 per cent in June 2011. That compares with a figure of 39 per cent for the under-50s, up from 31 per cent last year.

Some 47 per cent of people believe that current economic conditions mean now is a bad time to save, according to the survey, up from 37 per cent this time last year.

Of those consumers who are able to save occasionally or regularly, 28 per cent save more than €200 a month, while a further 24 per cent save between €101 and €200.

The single biggest reason why people were saving was to cover unforeseen expenses, with some 43 per cent anxious to put rainy day cash aside.

Education and training was the next most popular reason for saving – which, at 17 per cent, was up 3 per cent on this time last year.

Some 11 per cent said that they were saving for a holiday, compared to the 8 per cent last year.

Commenting on the index, Brendan Synnott, managing director of Nationwide UK (Ireland) said: “The economic environment has become less favourable towards saving as evidenced by reductions in deposit interest rates by numerous institutions.

“In addition, the level of tax on savings has increased during the year making the return from savings less attractive,” he said.

At the same time, the majority of people who have spare funds available are using them to pay down debt, possibly because there is less credit available, he added.

Three West of Ireland ITs join up to seek new technological university status


left picture Terri Scott & Enda Kenny & right An Taiseach Enda Kenny,  at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Castlebar Campus for the formal signing of the Connacht-Ulster Alliance between GMIT Letterkenny IT and IT Sligo.

Three west of Ireland institutes of technology have joined forces in an attempt to secure technological university status. Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Sligo have formed a new strategic partnership, the Connacht-Ulster Alliance.

In a boost for the initiative, Taoiseach Enda Kenny attended the formal signing of the agreement at GMIT Castlebar yesterday.

The move raises the possibility of at least two and possibly more technological universities, despite opposition from the seven university presidents and some senior figures in the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

Concerns have been raised that the new technological universities could undermine the overall level of higher education in Ireland. The institutes have accused university heads of “academic elitism”.

Earlier this year the HEA agreed new conditions that must be met by institutes of technology before they can be redesignated. While these are regarded as “challenging”, local political support for redesignation could be critical.

A new technological university for the southeast is regarded as virtually certain. Both Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin are backing moves that would merge the institutes of technology in Waterford and Carlow.

Five institutes of technology in the Border, midlands and west (BMW) region are also in discussions regarding the establishment of a technological university.

An application from a Dublin technological university group comprising the Dublin Institute of Technology and the institutes in Tallaght and Blanchardstown is also in train.

The new Connacht-Ulster Alliance will see the three institutes working together on areas such as flexible learning delivery, research and innovation, international student recruitment and staff development in order to meet the rigorous criteria required to achieve technological university status.

These three institutes have a combined student population of just over 16,000.

New Group ‘Slí Nios Fearr’ wants to be Irish people’s political party

A new group has set out its plans to become a political force in Ireland. Slí Nios Fearr, meaning “A Better Way”, wants to offer an alternative political party to the Irish electorate.

At the launch yesterday, founder Martin Critten said he wanted to tap into ordinary citizens’ talents. “Slí Nios Fearr respects the needs of all individuals, not just the elite,” he said. Mr Critten (54), was born in Manchester and moved to Ireland in 2000.

Slí Nios Fearr has fewer than 100 members but will require 300 registered members to become recognised as a political party.

A third of babies born in Ireland are ‘outside marriage’


Although there were about 300 fewer babies born in 2011 than in the previous year, the number of births registered is still over 23 per cent higher than a decade ago.

According to the Central Statistics Office Vital Statistics report for 2011, a total of 74,650 births were registered during the year.

The figures show that the average age of mothers was 31.8 years but with an average 29.8 years, first-time mums are younger. Almost two in every five births last year were to first timers.

Just less than 34 per cent of births in the year were to parents who were not married to each other. However, of those, more than half were to cohabiting couples.

Births to mothers with Irish nationality accounted for 77 per cent of all those registered. Almost 11 per cent were to women from Accession states and 7.8 per cent to mothers from non-EU countries.

The CSO report revealed the natural increase in population (births minus deaths) was 45,655 a decrease of 3.7 per cent on the 2010.

Altogether in 2011, there were 28,995 deaths registered across Ireland – an increase of about 1,430 in the year. Almost three in every four deaths were from either diseases of the circulatory system (33 per cent), malignant neoplasm (30 per cent) or diseases of the respiratory system (12 per cent).

Deaths due to accidents, suicide or other external causes accounted for a further 6 per cent.  There were 525 suicides registered in the year, giving a rate of 11.4 per 100,000. This is a significant 7 per cent jump on 2010 figures. Analysis of the data shows a rise in male suicides which account for 84 per cent of all suicide deaths in 2011.

There were 258 infant deaths registered, giving an infant mortality rate of 3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. There were 190 neonatal deaths (deaths of infants aged under four weeks) registered in 2011.

There were 19,879 marriages registered in 2011, 756 less than in 2010. The number of divorces granted by the Circuit Court and the High Court was 2,819, a decrease of 274 on the 2010 figure.


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