Brexit: supports for business

The Brexit Loan Scheme offers access to finance for businesses that will be affected by Brexit. The scheme is delivered by participating commercial lenders on behalf of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).

Under the Brexit Loan Scheme, eligible businesses can apply for finance on favourable terms. Each business can avail of a single loan ranging from €25,000 to €1.5m.

You can read more about the scheme on the SCBI website or in this detailed information pack (pdf) published by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Read about other Brexit-related supports on prepareforbrexit.com.

GP visit card for carers

Since 1 September 2018, all carers getting full or half-rate Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance can get a GP visit card. The card lets you visit your GP for free.

You can register for a card online or download an application form (pdf) from hse.ie. Forms are also available from your local Citizens Information Centre or you can phone LoCall 1890 252 919 to order one in the post.

Find out more about GP visit cards.

Beware of rental scams

If you are searching for private rented accommodation, you should be careful of rental scams. While these scams occur all year round, they are particularly likely now as students look for accommodation for the college year.

There are three mains types of rental scam:

  • The scammer claims they are out of the country and cannot show you the property, but asks you to pay a deposit to secure your tenancy regardless
  • The scammer is living at the property and shows a number of people around it, gets a deposit from several people and disappears with the money
  • The scammer tells you that you have secured a property, only for you to find that the keys don’t work and the landlord has disappeared

To avoid these rental scams, you should:

  • Never agree to rent a property you have not seen in person
  • Never pay with cash or by Electronic Fund Transfer services
  • Use an escrow account to pay if possible

If you think you may be a victim of a rental scam, report it at your local Garda station.

Threshold, Ireland’s national housing charity, has more information about rental scams on its website.

You can also read more on garda.ie.

Are you registered to vote in the presidential election?

Friday 26 October 2018 has been set as polling day for the upcoming presidential election.

You must be on the Register of Electors for 2018-2019 to vote in the election. You can check to see if you are registered.

If you are eligible to vote but are not on the Register of Electors, you can apply to be included in the supplement to it.

You can apply at any time. However, you can only be included in the supplement used at the election on 26 October if your local authority receives your application by Tuesday 9 October 2018.

If you wish to be included in the supplement to the Postal Voters List or the Special Voters List in time to vote in the election, the local authority must receive your application by Monday 1 October 2018.

All application forms are available on checktheregister.ie and from your local authority.

Read more about registering to vote.

Low-interest credit union loans

The Personal Microcredit Scheme provides small credit union loans at low interest rates. These loans are available to people getting a social welfare payment who may have difficulty getting credit from other sources.

The scheme aims to reduce dependence on moneylenders with very high interest rates. The loans are called It Makes Sense loans.

You can get a list of participating credit unions on itmakessenseloan.ie .

Find out more about the Personal Microcredit Scheme on citizensinformation.ie.

 

Scam emails and citizensinformation.ie

We have become aware of fraudulent emails purporting to come from citizensinformation.ie looking for personal information from taxpayers in connection with a Revenue tax refund or seeking credit/debit card details.

These emails and text messages did not issue from citizensinformation.ie or from Revenue.

The Revenue Commissioners never send emails or text messages requiring customers to send personal information via email, text or pop-up windows.

Anyone who receives an email or text message purporting to be from Revenue and suspects it to be fraudulent or a scam should simply delete it. Anyone who is actually awaiting a tax refund should contact their local Revenue Office to check its status.

Anyone who provided personal information in response to these fraudulent emails or text messages should contact their bank or credit card company immediately.

Please see Revenue’s data and security page for further information.

Measles outbreak

The HSE is dealing with a measles outbreak in Dublin’s North Inner City, with 13 cases of measles identified in adults and children since July.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily. Its symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, vomiting, diarrhoea, and a rash which starts on the head and spreads down the body.

If you think you might have measles, you should stay at home and phone your GP.

Read more on hse.ie.

Traffic restrictions for the Pope’s visit, 25 – 26 August 2018.

There will be traffic restrictions in Dublin city and the Greater Dublin Area while Pope Francis visits Ireland on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August 2018.

Many roads will be closed to traffic at different times over the weekend. There will also be parking restrictions for cars and bicycles. Dublin City Council has published maps showing which roads will be closed on Saturday 25 August (pdf) and Sunday 26 August (pdf). You can also find a list of road closures for both days (pdf) on garda.ie.

Getting to the papal mass in the Phoenix Park

If you are travelling to Dublin for the papal mass on Sunday 26 August, you should avoid travelling by car if possible. All public transport services will be running, although some routes will be diverted due to the planned traffic restrictions. You can see how bus, tram, rail and taxi services will operate on the day.

You can use public transport for free in the Greater Dublin Area on Sunday 26 August, if you have a ticket for the mass that afternoon.

All rail and Bus Éireann tickets must be booked in advance, even if you are using a free travel pass.

This map of public transport options (pdf) will help you plan your route to and from the Phoenix Park.

You can find more information about traffic restrictions during the papal visit on dublincity.ie.