Advertisement A RECOVERY plan put forward by construction employers to save jobs, generate increased government revenues and kick start economic recovery has been backed by The Mid West Branch of the Construction Industry Federation.The CIF recently held an emergency meeting that brought together all of the major construction employers, including the major material suppliers, representatives of the architectural, engineering and surveying professions, major contractors and house builders.Conor O’Connell from the CIF Mid West Branch outlined the key issues contained in the recovery plan drawn up by the CIF. According to Conor O’Connell, “infrastructure spending is the key to saving jobs, increasing exchequer revenues and providing a platform for economic recovery for the Mid West region.” “In the Mid West, construction currently employs in the region of 15,000 people directly, which is down by almost 10,000 people in two years. This does not include the thousands of people who are employed indirectly. The sector in the Mid West also supports thousands of induced jobs in the shops, restaurants etc. where construction workers spend their wages.” “It was agreed as part of the recovery plan that urgent action is needed within the next month to protect these existing jobs. The prospect of thousands of job losses in construction throughout the Mid West and the entire country is real unless the pipeline of projects increases.”“One of the major fears for construction employers in the Mid West relates to infrastructure spending and the possibility of further cuts in labour intensive projects arising from the upcoming budgetary measures. It is the view of the Mid West Branch that this would be the entirely wrong thing to do from the economy’s perspective resulting in increased social welfare costs and undoing any savings from upcoming budgetary measures.”“As it is, 75% of infrastructure spending is already committed to ongoing or contracted projects and even a minor cut in spending would mean that virtually no new projects will start over the coming months. In addition, spending on the pre-tender design, engineering and surveying has been significantly cut meaning a reduction in ready to go projects over the coming 12 months.”Mr O’Connell said, “Now is the time for the Government to take advantage of the competitive tendering environment and to place an emphasis on labour intensity and projects that are vital for the local economy in the long term.”“The payback to the state will be immediate. Research shows that every €100m spent on construction projects creates 1,000 jobs and generates nearly €50m for the exchequer through income, taxes and social welfare savings. Infrastructure improvements also ensure the future tax income of the economy by improving competitiveness and attracting inward investment.” Linkedin WhatsApp Twitter Print Previous articleDell to cut 100 more jobs in LimerickNext articleMan seriously injured in shooting admin Email NewsLocal NewsCIF sets out plan to save jobsBy admin – March 21, 2009 687 Facebook
Bakeries are among businesses to be targeted in a new crackdown on dust control by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).HSE will be conducting a series of unannounced inspections across the UK from 1 July, concentrated on industries including food manufacture, woodworking and construction, where occupational lung diseases are more common.Inspectors will examining what measures have been put in place to protect workers’ lungs from the likes of flour dust, asbestos, silica and wood. They will be looking for evidence of businesses and workers knowing the risks, planning their work and using the right controls.If necessary, HSE inspectors can use enforcement.“Exposure to asbestos, silica, wood, flour and other dust can have life-changing consequences,” said HSE chief medical officer Professor David Fishwick, adding that an estimated 12,000 workers die each year from lung diseases linked to past exposures at work.“In many cases these diseases take a long time to develop after exposure, so the damage done may not be immediately obvious. Others, such as occupational asthma and acute silicosis, can occur more quickly,” he explained. “These conditions can and do have a significant impact on both the individuals affected and those closest to them, so it is imperative that workers take the necessary precautions to protect their lungs.”In December last year, East Yorkshire bakery business Coopland & Son was fined almost £160,000 after exposing its staff to flour dust. The case followed an investigation by HSE, which found there was no effective method of control to prevent dust becoming airborne and employees being exposed to breathing it in.Coopland & Son said it had been monitoring flour dust levels as required under the law, but was subsequently found to be operating under incorrect advice. The business has since taken measures to address the issues raised.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The financial markets and economists are in agreement that the Federal Reserve Board is likely to begin raising interest rates at its December 15-16, 2015 meeting. It seems certain that rates will be raised several times in the next year. As farmers begin thinking about what crops to plant next spring, a part of their thinking may be: what effect will interest rates have on commodity prices?The literature, confirmed by recent research I conducted with my graduate student Aitbek Amatov, has reached a strong consensus that both an increasing money supply and declining interest rates are good for commodity prices, including agricultural commodities. The Fed’s quantitative easing programs functioned similarly to more traditional methods of increasing the money supply. Now, after seven years of low interest rates and a quadrupling of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet (pumping about $3 trillion into the system although much of this ended up as excess reserves at the Fed), the Fed policies which favored higher commodity prices are about to shift into reverse. Will the Fed finally raise rates?The Fed Fund futures contracts suggest a 74% probability that the Fed will raise the Fed Funds rate by a quarter percent at its December meeting. Such a move would be announced on December 16, at the conclusion of their two-day meeting. The Fed traditionally raises interest rates in a series of small increases. The implied forecasts in the far out futures suggest that interest rates might be increased by one-half or three-quarter of one percentage point by July 2016. What will rate increases mean for commodity prices?For a one percentage point increase in interest rates the high end of past research suggests a fall in agricultural commodity prices of five or six percent, with other results (including mine) suggesting smaller impacts. My recent research suggests that interest rate sensitivity is still in this range even during the period of the Fed’s historically unprecedented interventions,. Thus, the increase in interest rates anticipated by the start of next summer’s harvest should be expected to cause at most a two or three percent decline in agricultural commodity prices. That means roughly a dime or so per bushel for corn and wheat and maybe a quarter per bushel for soybeans.However, given that the relationship between interest rates and commodity prices is well known, the futures markets for agricultural commodities likely have already partially priced in those impacts. I would not expect the inevitable increase in interest rates to be positive for commodity prices, but the magnitude of the negative impact should be relatively small and fairly evenly spread across the major row crops.The effects generally manifest themselves slowly, with full adjustment to a new equilibrium level after interest rate moves taking about a year. Further, there is some evidence of overshooting when prices adjust, meaning that prices might drop sharply in the first few months and then recover some of those losses over the next year as everyone adjusts to the new level of interest rates. Therefore, if you see a big move in commodity futures prices after the Fed’s first announcement of a rise in their interest rates, do not panic; things should settle down. When and how fast will this happen?Given the Fed’s avowals to go slowly in raising interest rates, I expect to see increases to begin on Dec. 16 and rates to continue to rise in total about 2% in a series of seven or eight increases of a quarter of a percent each (although there is some chance they innovate and raise by only one-eighth of a percent at a time). It might easily take the Fed two years or more to finish this rise in interest rates. That means perhaps a drop of 5% to 10% in agricultural commodity prices spread over three crop marketing years.We should anticipate at least one year of rising rates, and given the current circumstances, I expect this to be one of the longest and slowest rate normalizations ever. It is likely the Fed will continue slow rate increases for more than two years (unless a recession interrupts them and spurs a return to rate cuts).Obviously, producers will not be excited about anything that lowers commodity prices further from today’s levels. However, given the natural variability in prices, it will be hard to pin down a 5% or 10% drop spread over three crop years. So, the main takeaways from this discussion of the long-anticipated rise in interest rates are that it appears to have finally arrived and it will not be positive for agricultural prices. Still, there is no need to overreact as the magnitude of the impact is likely to be reasonable small and to arrive slowly.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle defender Fabian Schar: We were ****!by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United defender Fabian Schar slammed their performance for the 0-0 draw with Brighton.The Switzerland international was the hero for the Magpies after a stunning overhead kick denied Aaron Connolly in the second half following his deft chip over Martin Dubravka.Schar told the Evening Chronicle: “We played a **** game – what can I say?”We were lucky to get a point.”But we played a bad game, that’s it.”We move on to the next game but we have to improve on this.”
Auburn Sand Pit WorkoutToday was definitely not a lazy Sunday for some of Auburn’s football players. Tigers’ wide receiver Dhaquille Williams and a couple of his teammates spent some time working out in a sand pit. It’s 92 degrees in Auburn, Ala., today. So it was probably a pretty rough workout. “It’s going to pay off,” Williams said. Auburn opens its 2015 season Sept. 5 against Louisville in the Georgia Dome.