Housing a ‘critical barrier’, inflation threat and the spy in your laptop

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

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our Business Today daily email news digest.

Housing has become a “critical barrier” to continued growth and development in Ireland, employers’ group Ibec has warned. In a report on the housing crisis, the organisation said the Government must urgently deliver policies to speed up the delivery of housing while simultaneously adopting measures to improve viability and affordability. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has the details.

Christmas travel boosted Ryanair’s profit to €211 million in the three months ended December 31st, Barry O’Halloran reports. The airline said on Monday that it flew 38.4 million passengers in the period, the third quarter of its financial year, 24 per cent more than in 2021.

The idea of being under constant digital surveillance at work is awful, and I feel fortunate to have dodged it so far, writes Pilita Clark. For those who have not I hope you can move elsewhere, or find a way of making monitored life less onerous.


Solpadeine and Ibuprofen are among the common medicines that are now subject to shortages in Ireland, according to a latest monthly update. Several forms of both feature in a list of 228 medicines compiled by the regulator – the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) – that also includes treatments for pain relief, infections, anxiety and sleep disorders, seizures, blood pressure, diabetes as well as over the counter and prescription eye drops. Dominic Coyle reports

Last year’s social housing delivery target was meant to 9,000 units, it’s likely to be 6,500-7,500. In 1975, the then government, with a fraction of the financial resources of the current one, built 8,800 social homes, a record that is still to be eclipsed despite the severity of the current housing crisis, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy in his weekly column.

If I sell my house, can I give 50 per cent to a friend of mine, as a loan without any involvement of the Revenue? Do Revenue need to know when the loan is being repaid or be provided with information on the repayments and or just interest? Dominic Coyle answers your personal finance question.

Inflation, macroeconomic volatility and geopolitical conflict are now seen as the top threats to business here and abroad, displacing climate change, cyber and health risks, according to PwC. The firm’s annual survey of chief executives reflects the changed priorities of business leaders after a year of turbocharged inflation and war in Ukraine, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy.

When it comes to mortgage rates, the Central Bank has let borrowers down very badly, argues Brendan Burgess, founder of askaboutmoney.com, in our weekly opinion slot.

An increase in office stock, the switch to hybrid working, as well as job losses in the tech sector have contributed to a slowdown in the Dublin commercial real estate market, according to an industry expert. Currently the office vacancy rates stands at 13 per cent, up from 6 per cent in 2016. “That’s a little bit more elevated than we’d like it to be,” says John Moran, CEO of JLL. “We like to see a market with a vacancy rate of about 10%. That’s generally where you have a reasonable balance between landlord and occupier.”

Moran tells Inside Business host, Ciaran Hancock, that approximately one million square feet of office space in Dublin would be regarded as difficult to let because it’s considered Grade B or lower. (Grade A is brand new, high spec and built to the highest sustainability standards.)

“I think you’re going to see Grade B space struggling; inferior space, space that can’t really be converted to better quality or it’s in an inferior location. People who have lots of older office stock will have a lot of work on their hands.”