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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


Funny money, a multi-part blog

I received my first Irish pay packet today. That makes it sound like it was easy - like the pay clerk (Bruce?) came round and dropped it off at my desk so I could nip out to the TAB for a quick flutter on the pokies. In reality, it was far more complicated
  1. I fill out a time sheet, and get the client to sign it.
  2. I fax it to my recruitment agent.
  3. My recruitment agent adds his margin, and bills the client.
  4. My recruitment agent pays the accounting firm who manage my umbrella company (Yes, I have an umbrella company! As an independent contractor I need to operate a limited liability company. A great service here are companies who will make you a director / shareholder of an existing umbrella company and look after your taxes for you. There are no entry or exit fees, just a monthly fee for the service).
  5. I compile a list of my expenses and send it to the accountant.
  6. The accountant works out my take home pay based on my expenses, his fee and the various taxes and tax credits.
  7. Then he pays me.
  8. Then I whip off to the TAB for a quick flutter on the pokies.
You can see why I was excited.


Also another thought: Republic of Ireland = ROI = Return on Investment. Coincidence?


Working for a financial services company, I now find myself in the thick of all things money.

Being part of the EU, Ireland can't set it's own cash rate and must accept the rate set by the European Central Bank (flash backs of stage 3 macro-economics here!). That explains why, even though the economy is booming and property prices sky-rocketing, mortgage rates (fixed and floating) are all under 5%*. It also explains why inflation is at around 5%**! This is compared with my mortgage at home where I now read the floating rate is a whopping 9.95%. 9.95%!!! That is bad.

So in Ireland, everyone is busy investing there money rather than paying off their mortgage, as you can relatively easily beat the 5% + inflation by saving.

Speaking of saving, people actually do it here! There was a savings scheme initiated by the government some time back where the government would contribute 1 euro for every 4 euro*** you put in, up to a certain limit. Right now, all these plans are expiring and people are busy being advised to keep saving at the same right now that they are used to it. I think this scheme was wilding popular, and pretty much every man and his dog took it out. Can you imagine everyone you know back home walking about with at $20,000 sitting in savings. Seems weird doesn't it? I mean... the 42" plasma...

Also, and if you didn't realise, the corporate tax rate here is 12%! That's why Ireland is the EMEA (Europe, Middle East + Africa) headquarters for companies like Google, Microsoft, Dell, eBay... and the list goes on.

I'm not sure what point I am trying to make, but I find it very interesting to compare. I've never lived somewhere else before, so I've never had the motivation to really find out how things work. I certainly don't care about things like relative rates of saving when I visit a country on holiday.

* Does that need an explanation? The usual way to combat an overheating economy, is to whack up the cash rate. This means it's more expensive to borrow money, so things cool off. But Ireland, can't do that, so...
** Prices keep going up. And that's inflation.
*** The plural or euro, is, apparently, euro.

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Anonymous AM Says:

Ireland = progressive & forward-focused

New Zealand = stagnating and introspective.

Blogger david Says:


Anonymous Anonymous Says:

But oh-so-true. Sorry, typical me fashion - get around to everything late! Enjoyed the financial overview David. Am particularly more interested now that I've resigned (at last, you might say) from my job, as of this morning! Yes, truly. AM, I told you I had news! Btw, your Paris trip sounds fabulous!
More soon - am tired and overworked and in need of sleep.
Take care both - Nat

Blogger david Says:

Hi Nat. That's great news! I was just saying to Laura the other day that we should meet you in Italy. It'll be great for both of us; you'll get to be in Italy, and we'll get someone that speaks Italian. Perfect :-).


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