Central Bank lays down a marker ahead of the Budget

The best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Big tax cuts or spending increases above the 5 per cent rule in the upcoming budget could drive domestic “imbalances” and overheat the economy, Central Bank deputy governor Vasileios Madouros has told Eoin Burke-Kennedy. His comments set up a potential clash with Minister for Finance Michael McGrath who is widely seen as preparing a possible giveaway budget later this year.

Staying with the Central Bank, Eoin also reports that lenders are often failing to adequately engage with borrowers experiencing early mortgage arrears, according to a review by the regulator. It carried out analysis of how lenders are dealing with borrowers in financial difficulties amid a pickup in short-term arrears, particularly among borrowers with nonbank lenders or so-called vulture funds, which typically charge higher rates of interest on loans.

An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission to the operator of Dublin Airport for a new €200 million tunnel at the airport. As Gordon Deegan reports, the appeals board has granted planning permission for the tunnel under the airport’s “crosswind” runway after concluding that the proposal would not give rise to any unacceptable impacts on the amenities of the surrounding area or on traffic safety.

In Technology and Innovation, Chris Horn casts a sceptical eye on the world of AI we are facing into while Olive Keogh speaks to an entrepreneur shaking up the sleepy world of wedding photos. Also in AI, the new tech has helped fuel a surge in public markets driven by optimism it will revolutionise how we work. But what if it doesn’t?


A French air traffic control strike has forced Ryanair to cancel 300 flights, including services from Ireland to Italy, on Thursday, hitting 50,000 passengers. Barry O’Halloran reports.

Food delivery riders and drivers working for apps such as Deliveroo or Just Eat may have to be classed as direct employees rather than contractors, under a European Union law passed this week. Jack Power reports from Strasbourg.

Cantillon notes some new arrivals on the share register of FD Technologies while also looking at why some companies are only now lodging accounts for two years ago with little penalty from the Companies Registration Office.

The big Japanese car manufacturers were somewhat left behind by the EV revolution, and Nissan needs big investment to catch up, writes David Keohane.

Irish company Aerospace Software Developments (ASD) has been bought by Canadian firm Descartes Systems Group in a deal worth €57 million. Barry J Whyte reports.

Barry also reports that William Currie Investments, a technology investment firm based in Liverpool, has doubled its stake in Smarttech 247, the IT security firm founded by Cork entrepreneur Ronan Murphy.

Access to cash and its acceptance as payment for public services are key issues the Government should address when developing its new national payments strategy, members of the public have told the Department of Finance. Ian Curran has the story.

Global data centre company Vantage is to open its first operation in Ireland, investing more than €1 billion in a large new campus in Dublin. As Ciara O’Brien reports, the project will include 52MW of IT capacity in the first two phases, split between a 32MW facility and a 20MW facility, with space for a third if needed on the 405,000 sq ft (37, 625 sq m) campus. Permission for the project was granted in July 2022.

A company of Johnny Ronan’s RGRE Group will only have to provide security for legal costs up to a certain point for a case it is taking against the Fortress Investment Group, the Commercial Court ruled.

Kerrygold owner Ornua said revenue in 2023 was largely stable, with a solid trading performance after the company saw record sales in 2022. Operating profit fell more than 8 per cent on the prior year, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) were 4 per cent lower, with the company attributing this to the challenging market conditions the Irish dairy industry faced in 2023. Ciara has the story.

Finally Ciara reviews Sony’s new WF-1000XM5 ear buds.

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