Majority want USC to be scrapped in October’s budget

Seen & Heard: Push against USC, Ryanair’s call for third terminal and Singapore fund buying up rentals

A large majority of voters – seven out of every ten – is demanding the abolition of the €5 billion a year Universal Social Charge before the next general election, according to a poll in the Sunday Business Post.

With mounting anticipation of a general election in the second half of 2024, the public is sending Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, a clear signal that they want to see the much-hated tax abolished in October’s budget, the post said.

The poll also reveals the main parties, who all back retaining the USC, are at odds with their own supporters who are clearly saying they want the tax axed.

The majority support for abolishing the USC represents a seismic shift in public opinion as in recent years, Red C polling on the issue of taxation have shown a clear trend of people demanding better services over lower taxes.


The cost-of-living crisis has galvanised the demand for big tax cuts, such as the abolition of the USC, because households are being squeezed by rising prices for groceries, fuel and energy bills.

Ryanair calls for an independent third terminal at Dublin Airport

Europe’s biggest airline, Ryanair, has called for a competing independent third terminal at Dublin Airport amid fresh criticism of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), the Sunday Business Post reports.

Both the airline and the DAA have refused to rule out speculation that they are eyeing up 261 acres of land worth €200 million put up for sale last week by a group who have long sought to build a rival independent terminal on the site.

One of those sellers – businessman Ulick McEvaddy – has slammed the DAA’s 27-year blockade of his attempts to build an independent terminal on lands adjacent to the airport campus.

“The DAA have held us up for 27 years. They have refused to countenance an independent terminal, other than one run by them, and they are a monopoly so they can do that,” McEvaddy said.

Chinese-owned shopping app Temu sparks concern after over 30,000 Irish downloads

A new Chinese-owned shopping app downloaded more than 30,000 times in Ireland last month has sparked concerns after its sister platform was removed from Google’s app store when malware was detected, according to the Sunday Times

Temu, a fast-fashion shopping platform which launched in the US last September, encourages consumers to “shop like a billionaire”, by selling sunglasses for €1.79, earphones for €2.15 and children’s toys for 98 cents.

The app is owned by PDD Holdings, an online Chinese retail company, and opened an office in Dublin last month with an address at St Stephen’s Green. It is listed as its “address of principal executive offices” and the app is recruiting for various roles on LinkedIn. According to Sensor Tower, an app analytics company, Temu was downloaded 33,200 times.

Singapore fund snaps up 1,000 rentals in Ireland

The Vestry Partnership, a low-profile property fund backed by a Singapore sovereign wealth fund, has amassed a portfolio of more than 1,000 separate rental properties in Ireland, according to the Sunday Times.

The portfolio consists of single or multiple units in different developments, mostly apartments in Dublin. Vestry is believed to be controlled by GIC, a Singaporean state wealth fund, and has received debt financing from DBS, a Singaporean lender. Vestry is headed by Christy Dowling, Robert Kehoe and Andrew Gunne. Dowling and Kehoe are also directors of Newlyn, a residential development company, while Gunne is a former director of Castlethorn Construction.

Solar 21 extends €5.8m Teesside land option by three months

Troubled Solar 21 said it had extended by three months an option to make a crucial £5 million (€5.8 million) land deal.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times