Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Action plan for rural Ireland

House buyers are to be offered renovation grants to restore properties in small towns and villages as part of the Government’s plan to revive rural Ireland, according to a report by the Irish Independent. The Action Plan for Rural Ireland is aimed at luring house buyers back into rural communities damaged by the recession. Renovation grants and tax relief will be made available for first-time buyers renovating their new homes, and to encourage older people living alone in isolated parts of the country to move into town centres where more services are available.

The action plan also commits to creating 135,000 jobs in rural Ireland and increasing foreign direct investment in those areas by 40 per cent within the next three years. The scheme promises to improve rural job opportunities by increasing the number of apprenticeships and traineeships available locally, and also to improve local GP services and protect rural schools. The action plan was developed by Rural Affairs Minister Heather Humphreys and Regional Economic Development Minister Michael Ring.

Calls for anti-ticket touting law

Dublin North West TD Noel Rock has told TheJournal.ie that he hopes that an anti-ticket touting bill that he drafted in the summer will be fast-tracked, following U2’s selling out of Croke Park on Monday. Tickets to the gig sold out minutes after going on sale, but were immediately found on secondary sale sites, offered for several times their original value. “This will be one of the biggest concerts of the year and consumers are now being asked to pay a large figure, well over face value, to attend. It’s just not fair to true fans who couldn’t obtain a figure this morning,” Rock told TheJournal.ie.

The TD went on to point out the success of similar laws enacted in other countries. In Belgium, for example, secondary sale site Seatwave was shut down within days of the law’s enactment. “It’s really about a sense of fairness. I have been getting emails saying this sort of legislation should have been done a long time ago,” said Rock. “We can and should do it here.”

Returning unwanted gifts

Finally, the Irish Examiner has provided a guide for those who wish to return any unwanted gifts received over the festive season. Author Kya deLongchamps advises consumers contemplating a return to keep hold of their receipts, or, failing this, to provide the store with a credit or debit card statement which proves the purchase really occurred. For items bought online, over the phone or through the post, she notes that consumers are protected by a 14 day returns policy – even if the goods are in perfect condition. However, certain companies may charge for the cost of shipping, so make sure you brush up on the company’s return policies.

Finally, deLongchamps advises that in the case of a faulty product, consumers shouldn’t make any attempt to fix it, and instead should return it within 30 days to receive a full refund.

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.
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