Drink tax row; no respite for Bewley’s; and mortgage U-turn at AIB

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The pub and restaurant sectors are split over a campaign for a near €700m cut to VAT on pub alcohol sales.

The pub and restaurant sectors are split over a campaign for a near €700m cut to VAT on pub alcohol sales.


Tensions have emerged between groups fighting to secure State support for the decimated pub and restaurant sectors. Mark Paul picks through a schism over VAT cuts and how best to secure them.

It comes as Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said the Government’s planned stimulus programme must have an immediate effect on the economy as it grapples with the Covid-19 crisis, writes Joe Brennan, but he has warned that there is no way of meeting all demands and he has hinted that VAT changes might not be on the agenda.

No stimulus will help staff at Bewley’s café on Grafton Street, who have been told they are being made redundant, dashing hopes that the decision to close the historic café might be reversed, writes Ciarán Hancock.

Elsewhere, AIB has backed away from its blanket ban on mortgage applications from people in receipt of the State’s Covid-19 temporary wage subsidy but there is still no guarantee that homebuyers in that position will get a loan. Jack Horgan-Jones reports.

And Dunnes Stores is breaking new ground with a trial of a home delivery food service, writes Peter Hamilton. The retailer is among the last to offer such a service, which it is now trialling from its Cornelscourt store in south Dublin.

The Supreme Court has given the new Government a headache by ruling that a new retention planning permission put in place in 2010 after the European Court of Justice ruled the previous law did not meet the requirement of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive falls foul of the same directive. Mary Carolan was in court for the judgment.

In technology, Florence’s Uffizi gallery is among the last places you would expect to find on TikTok with a series of mischievous videos highlighting some of its treasures. But that is exactly what it has done during the lockdown. The New York Times’ Alex Marshall finds out why.

And finally, everyone knows you need to wipe clean a laptop or smartphone before trading it in, but have you thought what secrets your car might tell its new owner? Karlin Lillington has and she writes about a new consumer report that will alarm.

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