Broken planning structures; the retention of wage supports; and talent issues

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

Irish Water  is “not fit for purpose”, Construction Industry Federation director general Tom Parlon said. Photograph: iStock

Irish Water is “not fit for purpose”, Construction Industry Federation director general Tom Parlon said. Photograph: iStock


Government promises to invest billions of euro in housing and capital infrastructure will mean nothing unless something is done to fix broken planning and procurement structures and address problems at Irish Water which is “not fit for purpose”, Construction Industry Federation director general Tom Parlon has said as it launches its pre-budget submission.

On the same theme, IDA Ireland says the planning system and, in particular, the “protracted nature” of the judicial review process has become an area of “reputational risk to the State” and threatens international investment here. Colin Gleeson reports on the agency’s reaction to concerns raised by tech giant Intel.

The Restaurant Association of Ireland also has its pre-budget submission out today, with a focus on arguing for the retention of wage supports in the sector into next year as the sector looks to get back on its feet. Barry O’Halloran writes that it is also looking for rates relief and an international campaign to tempt business back.

Bank of Ireland is blaming restrictions on executive pay for the loss of a second chief financial officer in just over two years, writes Joe Brennan. Myles O’Grady has announced he is leaving to join retail group Musgrave, which runs the SuperValu, Donnybrook Fair and Centra brands alongside a wholesale business.

Companies need to focus more on the impact of climate change in their end of year accounts, the Irish accounting watchdog has said. The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) made the comments amid rising concern internationally that groups are not properly assessing the financial impact of climate change and net-zero emissions plans, writes Joe Brennan.

The developer of an equestrian centre is appealing a council refusal to extend planning permission to allow them complete the project. Developer Luke Comer says he is entitled to more time after the Covid construction lockdown delayed the project at the Kilternan Hotel in south Dublin, adding that the €7 million centre was three-quarters complete.

Four leading employers have formed a “remote working alliance” to embed remote working within their organisations on a long-term basis. Vodafone, ESB, eBay and Liberty Insurance announced details of the Remote Alliance, writes Colin Gleeson.

It comes as “talent issues” are cited as a “major challenge” for companies across all sectors in growing their business, according to a report by EY, with 96 per cent of businesses complaining about the quality of the workforce, up significantly from 53 per cent just a year earlier. Colin has the details.

Long-standing indirect shareholders in glass and metal containers giant Ardagh Group are poised to share a large part of a €252 million special dividend next month, writes Joe Brennan. The mostly small shareholders remained on board when a precursor of Ardagh was taken private in 2003.

Irish tech start-ups fared worse than than the European average in raising money despite a surge in investment in the first half of the year, writes Charlie Taylor, but companies founded by women performed even worse in securing investment.

In Personal Finance, Fiona Reddan looks at how investors are treated (and taxed) differently, depending on how they decide to invest their money.

In Q&A, a reader asks whether they are better using a substantial cash windfall to pay down their mortgage or fill a hole in their retirement savings.

And I also look at how people who have worked in different EU countries fare when it comes to claiming the State pension, and what they need to do to find out.

In the Media & Marketing column, Michael Cullen argues that Adland boasts a plethora of award shows, but few point to issue of profit and loss. The Effies, he argues, are different as they focus on effectiveness of campaigns.

Finally, Airbus says it is confident it can deliver a hydrogen-powered commercial airliner before the end of the decade. But it wants a “degree of certainty” around of the regulatory environment and security of fuel supplies before committing to the project.