Dodging hard budget choices; unwelcome spotlight for medics; and Ryanair plans 5,000 jobs

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

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 13, featuring longer battery life and more storage. Photograph: Jonathan Cherry/Bloomberg

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 13, featuring longer battery life and more storage. Photograph: Jonathan Cherry/Bloomberg


The Government is adopting a “risky” budgetary strategy that “avoids making hard choices” and may ultimately overheat the economy, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (Ifac) has warned. Eoin Burke-Kennedy writes that it t said the Government needs to prioritise between tax cuts planned, the pace of investment expansion and the speed of increase in current spending, suggesting it cannot do all three simultaneously.

A company linked to one of the State’s top maternity care doctors has made a settlement of €1.5 million with Revenue for underdeclaring taxes. The settlement came in a quarterly list of tax defaulters in which the world of medicine featured prominently. Mark Paul has the details.

Ryanair has invested ¤50 million in a new aviation training centre in Dublin.The airline said it intends to use the centre to train more than 5,000 new pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations staff across Europe over the next five years, writes Charlie Taylor.

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 13, featuring longer battery life and more storage, with four models available from the end of next week at prices ranging from €829 to €1,279. Chief executive Tim Cook led the unveiling at a virtual even which also featured an overhaul for the iPad Mini and a Watch upgrade that included a larger face. Ciara O’Brien tuned in.

A continuing logjam in licensing is driving farmers away just as the sector becomes more important to achieving climate goals, an Oireachtas committee heard, as the head of the Department of Agriculture said it was likely to fall well short of its licensing target again this year. Colin Gleeson reports

Irish exporters have welcomed Britain’s decision to further delay a range of post-Brexit checks on imports from the European Union. Denis Staunton and Simon Carswell have the details of the move and the reaction.

Ulster Bank has upped the ante in its challenge to Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman decisions on tracker mortgage compensation, writes Joe Brennan. Three cases now heading for the High Court have potential implications for up to 400 other Ulster Bank borrowers and for the bank as looks to keep a lid on costs as it retreats from the Irish market.

Small and medium business led by women are faring significantly worse in Ireland than their global counterparts in terms of closures, sales performances, and increasing headcounts as efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic gather pace, a new report by Facebook shows. Colin Gleeson reports that, more generally, the post-Covid recovery is looking good in the sector.

Corporate America is lobbying for climate disaster, Paul Krugman says as he warns that likely changes in control in Congress mean current proposals from President Joe Biden and the Democrats may well be the US’s last chance to do something meaningful to limit climate change.

In Commercial Property, Ronald Quinlan reports on an exclusive Foxrock site at ¤4.75 million, which has scope for a bespoke 24-unit housing scheme designed by TV architect Dermot Bannon.

Former Treasury Holdings executive John Bruder’s Burlington Real Estate has seen off intense competition from former boss Johnny Ronan, Hines and Pat Crean’s Marlet to secure Carrisbrook House in Ballsbridge – former home of the Israeli embassy – for around €29 million, it is understood.

And, with the housing crisis putting “shovel ready” development land at a premium, Ronald says the market will pay close attention to the sale by developer Gerry Gannon’s Gannon Properties of a substantial site at Clongriffin in north Dublin with with full planning permission for 1,937 apartments and commercial space.

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our business news alerts and our Business Today daily email news digest.