Seen&Heard: Help-to-buy scheme set to be scrapped in budget

Nama to sell hotel for €80m while senior executive leaves to head property fund

Nama is set to proceed with the sale of Dublin’s Gibson Hotel for €80 million  as part of a €300 million sale of high-profile assets, according to the Sunday Business Post. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Nama is set to proceed with the sale of Dublin’s Gibson Hotel for €80 million as part of a €300 million sale of high-profile assets, according to the Sunday Business Post. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

The Government’s tax rebate scheme for first-time home buyers of up to €20,000 is to be scrapped in the budget later this year. Both the Sunday Business Post and Sunday Times report on the likely ending of the rebate amid fears it has fuelled house-price inflation and is distorting the market.

Nama is set to proceed with the sale of Dublin’s Gibson Hotel for €80 million in the coming weeks as part of a €300 million sale of high-profile assets, according to the Sunday Business Post. The Sunday Times also reports that a senior Nama executive, Felix McKenna, is leaving to head a new property fund. The Dad Property Fund was set up by Bill Nowlan and Frank Kenny, founders of the Hibernian Reit property group, and aims to invest in social and affordable rental accommodation.

Staying with property deals, developer Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group has bought a 16-acre site in Tallaght with the potential for about 1,500 residential units, according to the Sunday Independent. It estimates the sale price at €16 million. Separately, the paper also reports the expected cost of remediation work at the Beacon South Quarter apartment complex in Dublin’s Sandyford has doubled to €20 million. The work aims to fix fire safety, water ingress and other structural defects.

Senior business figures in the UK have put further pressure on Theresa May to change course for a softer Brexit, the Observer reports. It says business groups are pressing Downing Street for a change in tone, as well as a formal role in the Brexit process. The Sunday Telegraph reports that some of the most senior City bankers are understood to have met last week for a private discussion with a view to stepping up their lobbying attempts for a softer Brexit.

AIB is coming under criticism for a unilateral decision to stop increasing staff pensions in line with inflation, according to the Sunday Times. The move was announced in a pre-IPO prospectus published last week. The paper also reports on AIB’s plan to move its head office from its current Ballsbridge location to a plush new office block at 10 Molesworth Street, Dublin, on the site of the former passport office.

The Sunday Independent reports that the overspend on IT-related costs at the Central Bank’s new headquarters has risen to €3 million. The initial budget was for €15 million but this was overshot by €1.2 million by the end of last year. The paper states that Central Bank board members were warned of the spiralling costs at a recent meeting.