Land Development Agency plans 5,000 homes as it prepares developer tender

Seen & Heard: Revenue is cracking down on parties for staff leaving a workplace

The Land Development Agency will pay developers more than €2 billion to build 5,000 homes under the Government’s Project Tosaigh initiative, says The Sunday Times.

The State agency will go to tender on Monday week – July 24th – for a panel of developers to build the homes after announcing the plan earlier this month, the newspaper reports.

The body, set up in 2018 to tackle the Republic’s stubborn housing crisis, will buy land from developers or landowners and pay builders in stages to build the homes.

“It is estimated the total value of the properties will be €2 billion plus VAT,” says The Sunday Times.

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The Land Development Agency will build around 5,000 homes over four years, focusing on cost-rental and affordable housing.

Revenue is cracking down on companies claiming for some staff parties saying that they are a “benefit-in-kind”, The Sunday Independent reports.

The newspaper says Revenue classes workplace lunches for departing or retiring employees are benefits-in-kind and not business expenses.

A clampdown on claiming for these parties comes as Revenue prepares for the introduction of new rules requiring companies to report tax-free staff benefits, such as vouchers and travel expenses, in January.

Revenue does not regard events including Christmas parties or sports days as benefits-in-kind, providing they are available to all workers and the costs are reasonable.

Government should scrap a tax on share trading that is driving companies off the Irish Stock Exchange, the market’s operator warns, says The Business Post.

The Sunday newspaper says the stock market’s owner, Euronext Dublin, has written to the Government asking it to abolish the 1 per cent stamp duty applied to investors buying shares in companies listed here.

The letter says the tax puts the Republic “at a complete disadvantage” compared to other jurisdictions, including the US and UK, which either charge a lower rate or do not impose it at all.

Euronext Dublin wrote to the Government as CRH, the market’s biggest company, prepares to move its listing to New York.

The stock exchange company says Government intervention is needed to bolster the market, which has watched big companies leave in recent years but seen few replacements.

Any sale of AstraZeneca’s vaccines business will depend how successful its products are, the drug maker’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, tells The Observer.

The multinational hopes that its Evushed Covid treatment for people with weak immune systems will be ready by the end of the year after “tweaking” the drug to handle different virus variants.

Mr Soriot was responding in an interview to speculation that the company would sell the division.

He has brought together pharmaceutical chief executives in a taskforce to work on Britain’s Sustainable Markets Initiative, meant to speed up the private sector’s efforts to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas