Seen & Heard: pursue €3.1bn, McHale says
Fiscal Advisory Council chairman says not pursuing that figure would be risky
Prof John McHale: “The money adjustment targets are directly relevant in that much of Ireland’s credibility in terms of showing it has the political capacity to make the necessary fiscal adjustments really revolve around meeting those targets.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The chair of the Fiscal Advisory Council, Prof John McHale, has said the Government should pursue an adjustment of €3.1 billion in October’s budget. Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Prof McHale said not pursuing that figure was a risky strategy.
He said: “The money adjustment targets are directly relevant in that much of Ireland’s credibility in terms of showing it has the political capacity to make the necessary fiscal adjustments really revolve around meeting those targets.”
He also said that it was hard to see how the Government’s deficit targets would be achieved if there was a significant scaling back on proposed social welfare cuts. Prof McHale said: “Given that the social protection budget is about 40 per cent of total spending, and the adjustments that were pencilled in of €440million involves about a 2 -2.5per cent reduction in social protection spending.”
Interest in Mainstream
Japanese conglomerate Marubeni may invest €100 million in Mainstream Renewable Power and take a “significant equity strake” in the alternative energy company, the Sunday Times reported. The paper quoted the company’s founder and largest shareholder, Eddie O’Connor, as saying he was in talks with 10 of the world’s biggest investment houses.
Mr O’Connor told the paper he was “in no way in a position to announce a deal” with Marubeni and that he was in discussions “with all kinds of people from everywhere”.
Mainstream claims to have a development pipeline of 18,945 megawatts of energy projects in Canada, the US, Chile, South Africa and Europe.
McKillen eyes up Clerys
Gordon Brothers are in talks to sell the Clerys department store in Dublin to property developer Paddy McKillen, the Sunday Independent reported. The US restructuring specialist is “considering an ambitious proposal from McKillen to buy the store but has yet to make up its mind, it said. Mr Killen proposes to reinvent the store as a major retail and tourist centre according to the paper which quoted a spokesperson for McKillen saying: “We appreciate the opportunity to look at a proposal for the legendary Clerys.” Mr McKillen is believed to have offered €2 million for the business and agreed to assume dents of €14 million owed to Bank of Ireland.
Grant Thornton seeks €1bn
The administrators of Quinn insurance will seek to have their case against former auditors PwC admitted to the Commercial Court today. Grant Thornton is seeking damages of €1 billion from PwC who it believes were negligent. The claim relates to the treatment of cross guarantees between Quinn Insurance and other Quinn firms, the Sunday Business Post reported.