Covid hit to economy, Budget 2021 for families, and wage subsidy tax bills

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

Two women wearing face masks make their way to the shops on an almost deserted Henry Street in Dublin’s city centre. The Irish economy is facing tougher restrictions to curb the spread of  the coronavirus.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Two women wearing face masks make their way to the shops on an almost deserted Henry Street in Dublin’s city centre. The Irish economy is facing tougher restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

The Irish economy is likely to experience only a small contraction of about 0.4 per cent this year, with stronger-than-expected exports from the pharma sector offsetting much of the shock from Covid-19, the Central Bank of Ireland has indicated. Eoin Burke-Kennedy goes through its findings.

In an analysis of the Central Bank’s latest forecasts, Eoin Burke-Kennedy says a no-deal Brexit could take a bigger toll on the Irish economy next year than Covid-19.

The pandemic will continue to impact on building work in the Republic over the next year, according to an analysis by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. Barry O’Halloran reports.

Three-quarters of taxpayers believe the Government should waive tax bills that most people never understood they were building up under Covid wage subsidy schemes. Dominic Coyle has the details.

High prices and wages have obscured the “relatively low volume” of healthcare that the Republic provides, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute. Barry O’Halloran reports.

With the budget just a week away, what can families expect to receive from Paschal Donohue? Fiona Reddan looks at some Budget 2021 scenarios.

In Q&A, a reader who returned to Ireland two years ago and is planning to build their own home wonders if they will qualify for theState’s Help to Buy scheme. Dominic Coyle has the answer.

In our media and marketing column, Laura Slattery explains why she doesn’t have high hopes for the Government’s new Future of Media Commission.

With Christmas just around the corner, Cantillon argues that the retail sector would be worst hit from any draconian tightening of the restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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