Seen or heard
WEEKEND DIGEST:Planning for next December’s €3.5 billion budget will intensify in the next few weeks, with the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure expected to circulate outline targets for spending cuts to the spending departments shortly, according to the Sunday Business Post.
As a result of new procedures that set spending targets on a three-year basis, most departments already know how much they have to achieve in cuts but have yet to decide how and where the cuts will be found.
The newspaper cites unnamed political sources who say achieving the required cuts will be more difficult than last year because the “soft options” have long since been exhausted.
Bay Broadcasting, a radio station group backed by businessman Tom Anderson, has told the Sunday Independent it is interested in acquiring radio stations owned by Denis O’Brien (above).
Ken Hutton, commercial director with Bay, told the newspaper Bay was “interested in exploring opportunities”.
The Sunday Independent notes the expression of interest comes as the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland prepares to meet to consider whether it should order Mr O’Brien’s Communicorp to sell some of its radio assets.
The Consumers’ Association of Ireland is seeking Government funding to save it from extinction after temporarily laying off its staff of five last week and ceasing publication of its monthly magazine Consumer Choice, reports the Sunday Times.
Income at the advocacy group tumbled after Government funding ceased last year and membership fell from 5,500 in 2008 to 3,300. The association has written to the Government to say it cannot continue without intervention.
The association reported a deficit of €129,096 in the year to the end of May 2011 because of a 15 per cent fall in income from its magazine, which does not accept advertising.