TikTok pulls plug on office; Budget 2023 plans; and apportioning blame as energy fears ease

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk


Social media giant TikTok has pulled out of talks to rent 16,443 sq m (177,000 sq ft) of space at a major office scheme in Dublin’s docklands, one of three office spaces it was reported to be pursuing, writes Ian Curran. The tech company says it is still planning to add 1,000 staff to its Irish workforce this year and remains on course to sign contracts on the other two new office buildings.

Indexing tax bands and credits would boost the take-home pay of up to two million taxpayers in the Republic while costing the Government between €630 million and €1.1 billion a year to implement, the Government’s high-level tax strategy group has estimated. Eoin Burke-Kennedy also reports on the prospects for a €15 increase in welfare rates — three times that of Budget 2022 increases.

Cliff Taylor writes that the delicate juggling act for ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath in next month’s budget is that will not have budget giveaways in the sense that they leave people better off. The focus instead will be on what might be called budget buffers to try to fend off some of the hit from rising inflation

Pressures on electricity supplies that prompted two national grid alerts are set to ease over coming days as power plants that have been out of action restart. But concerns remain about security of supply over the winter period. Barry O’Halloran reports.

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In her column, Karlin Lillington argues that official Ireland cannot blame the war in Ukraine for our energy jitters after decades of poor infrastructural planning and development even as approvals were handed out freely for data centres.

Bobby Healy’s drone delivery company Manna Aero is planning further expansion, targeting the US later this year and announcing plans to move into Europe in 2023 as well as expanding domestic operations into another, as yet unnamed, Dublin suburb. Ciara O’Brien reports.

And as the holidays near their end, Ciara also looks at the best back-to-school technology options for parents on all budgets.

Hostelworld is enjoying the holiday season as “bed price inflation” sees net revenue top pre-pandemic numbers even as bookings are still at only 59 per cent of 2019 levels. Ian Curran and Eoin Burke-Kennedy report.

Homeowners moved to lock themselves into fixed rates ahead of ECB interest rate increases, according to new Central Bank figures. The proportion of mortgage holders on fixed rates jumped five points to 88 per cent as the average interest rate paid on new mortgages in the Irish market fell to 2.68 per cent in June 2022, down from 2.74 per cent in the same month last year, writes Laura Slattery.

Motorists meanwhile are switching to electric motoring in increasing numbers, with electric and plug-in hybrids accounting for more than a fifth of all new vehicles licensed in the State this year, according to the CSO.

In Innovation, Frank Dillon looks at a new book that charts how talent, leaps of faith and determination brought pharma company Moderna centre stage in the battle to get a grip on Covid-19.

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