Budget blues for lower income families, record bank fine; and Truss finally talks

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

Lower-income households will experience real cuts in living standards next year unless the Government repeats its once-off cost of living measures, the ESRI has warned in its review of Budget 2023.

Away from the budget, the record fine imposed on Bank of Ireland which was characterised as a recidivist offender by the Central Bank in relation to the tracker mortgage scandal over nine long years remains the main story. In an accompanying analysis, Joe Brennan writes that consumers will not be satisfied until they see some of those responsible for the misery inflicted on customers being punished personally..

EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager is in Dublin today, promising action to prevent the energy crisis from spilling over into the wider economy and financial services. Talking to Naomi O’Leary, she also has few words of comfort for Big Tech and is pushing to conclude the global tax reform deal.

Having ignored Britain’s independent fiscal watchdog in advance of her chancellor’s ill-fated mini-budget last week, British prime minister Liz Truss is reported to be holding emergency talks with the Office for Budget Responsibility after failing to dampen panic in the financial markets or shore up support from Tory MPs on her radical economic plan. It comes as sterling recovered some ground on Thursday despite a poor reception to the prime minister first public comments on the budget in a series of local radio shows.


Ian Curran takes a last look at the workings of Dunnes Stores which published the final set of accounts for its Northern Ireland business before taking it unlimited. They show a business rebounding back to profit after the Covid crisis.

Going back to the budget, Eoin Burke Kennedy writes in Agenda that the Government’s best laid plans could be undone by a harsh winter which would create further problems on the energy price front.

In Caveat, Mark Paul writes that the debate over the tourism sector’s reduced 9 per cent rate is far from over, with incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoiling Paschal Donohoe’s plans to shut the door on the benefit.

And John FitzGerald is critical of the Government’s energy subsidy for business and sceptical that energy prices will fall far enough next year to avoid the Government having to return to once-off measures to help vulnerable customers.

Elsewhere in business news, explorer Arkle is scathing of the lack of support from Government, investors and lenders as it searches for the rare minerals modern society needs to drive its windmills and electric vehicles.

And in Germany, Porsche showed that class tells as the automaker advanced on flotation even after parent Volkswagen set its final listing price at the upper end of its projected range, despite market upheaval.

Finally, in the world of work, Olive Keogh looks at an innovative and comprehensive job sharing programme put in place by Ford Motor Company in an effort to retain key staff.

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