KPMG legal breaks out; Minister upbeat on housing; and no sign of a wage/price spiral

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


KPMG has spun out its legal services division into a stand-alone business KPMG Law Ireland, making it the second Big Four firm to do so amid a reshaping of the Irish legal services landscape, writes Joe Brennan. Managing partner John Given hopes to grow the 60-strong staff to 160 within three years.

Housing minister Darragh O’Brien told the chartered surveyors and estate agents’ annual conference that there were “grounds for optimism” about housing delivery next year despite significant cost and economic pressures. Ian Curran was on hand as the Minister also promised a review of the private rented sector next year.

The pace of wage growth in the Republic has slowed sharply since the summer, Central Bank researchers tell Mark Paul, reducing the risk of a wage-price inflation spiral.

Separately, the Central Bank has decided to sell a 37-acre parcel of land near the M50 motorway in south Dublin at its old mint site that largely holds residential zoning, moving its cash-management facility elsewhere in the greater Dublin area, writes Joe Brennan.

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Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary will remain at the head of the airline with which he has become synonymous for the next four years after agreeing a deal with the group’s board. Barry O’Halloran has the details.

In other airline news, Barry reports that Dublin Airport operator DAA has told an Oireachtas committee it is confident it will have enough staff on hand to meet the Christmas passenger rush.

The parent of the clamping company contracted to enforce parking rules in Dublin city almost doubled its pretax profits to €1.7 million last year as it lines itself up for a sale. Gordon Deegan looks at the accounts.

Ken Foxe writes that the Department of Enterprise lobbied finance minister Paschal Donohoe ahead of the budget to retain a special tax relief scheme for highly paid multinational executives, arguing that an international crackdown on tax avoidance made the scheme even more important in protecting Ireland’s corporation tax take.

The five-star Mount Juliet hotel and golf resort in Kilkenny – host to the Irish Open golf tournament – managed to deliver a modest operating profit last year after increasing its revenues by a third, but it was dragged back into the red by interest costs of €2.3 million, writes Gordon Deegan.

A florist who was unfairly made redundant when the Covid-19 pandemic shut down her employer’s wedding trade has been awarded more than €14,000 for employment law breaches. Stephen Bourke reports.

And with the ECB expected to move again next week on interest rates, Spanish nonbank lender Avant Money, which entered the Irish mortgage market two years ago with rates starting below 2 per cent, has increased the cost of new loans for the third time this year.

In Net Results, Karlin Lillington returns to a familiar woe, arguing that the State’s inaction has left Ireland’s data retention laws in limbo.

And Chris Horn writes in technology that, as the fiftieth anniversary of the internet looms next year, we should be grateful that its pioneers were bound by sound values.

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