Housing delays, poor results for Central Bank and SMEs not Brexit-ready

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


Irish Water’s lack of supply capacity has hampered plans for a large scale development of over 400 homes by Ireland’s largest housebuilder in Maynooth, The Irish Times has learned. The semi-state utility told Cairn Homes that water capacity only exists for 40 homes on the site in Co Kildare on which the housebuilder has sought fast track planning for over 400 properties. Cairn also warned the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe that “of their 30 sites, they are not in a position to build on 19 of these as of now”.

Asked about apartment construction, the firm told the Minister and his advisers there “would be little or no apartment supply over the next few years”, something seen as crucial to alleviating the housing crisis across the state and particularly in Dublin.

Central Bank governor Philip Lane, may be in the middle of a two-horse race for a key European Central Bank (ECB) position, but he has acknowledged to his 1,800 staff that the organisation in Dublin has work to do to improve “leadership and clarity on strategy”. Ahead of this week’s important European vote, it seems there are “some very clear areas for improvement such as leadership and clarity on strategy and direction” at the Irish institution.

The vast majority of small and medium enterprises (SME) across the island of Ireland have no formal Brexit plans as negativity remains high in the manufacturing, hospitality and tourism sectors.

Irish real-estate investment trust Hibernia Reit is planning development of Marine House, a building it acquired for €26.5 million in 2016.

With long-term thinking on the mind thanks to the latest national development plan, Chris Johns revisits the debate over whether we should look to Boston or Berlin for our economic direction. Chris offers an alternative: Canada.

With the main Irish banks looking to sell off loan books, Fianna Fail’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath made clear has party’s opposition to any sale. The party is gearing up to introduce a Bill requiring the regulation of vulture funds by the Central Bank. These funds are the likely buyers of any loan books.

With artificial intelligence likely to force large-scale upheaval in the workplace Rana Foroohar sugests that the public and private sector come together in what could be a kind of digital New Deal. She proposes taking “a page out of the post financial crisis German playbook, in which large scale lay-offs were avoided as both the public and private sector found ways to continue to use labour even as demand dipped”.