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Mortgage approvals fall, retrofitting loans and driverless cars hit the brakes

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Shares in the most exposed Irish-listed companies to the UK economy, including Bank of Ireland and convenience foods manufacturer Greencore, have also fallen sharply since Mr Kwarteng announced the blueprint to cut £45 billion of taxes over five years and spend an estimated £60 billion over the next six months alone subsidising energy bills for households and businesses. Ms Truss has promised to freeze household gas and electricity bills for two years. Joe Brennan reports.

Data supplied by the banking industry suggests a softening in the housing market, as the number of people gaining mortgage approval to buy homes continues to fall compared with last year. However, the overall total of fresh mortgage approvals is still on the rise, driven by a huge surge in homeowners switching and getting fixed rates to escape the cycle of European Central Bank (ECB) rate hikes. Mark Paul has the details.

The Government’s plans for a low cost loan guarantee scheme to encourage homeowners to undertake home energy upgrades have been pushed out to next year as part of Budget 2023. In his speech in the Dáil, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said that funding “to support the introduction of a new low cost loan scheme for residential retrofit” would be set aside in the budget. Ian Curran reports.

As the EU, UK and US scramble to diversify the supply chains of rare earths and other critical raw materials, they are discovering that it’s not so easy. Left to its own devices, the market will never wean itself off Chinese production. Governments must intervene, argues Misha Glenny.

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