Economy on knife edge, taxing funds, and Dublin Airport expansion halted

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

Policy dilemmas: the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, consulting with his chief economist, John McCarthy, earlier this year. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Policy dilemmas: the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, consulting with his chief economist, John McCarthy, earlier this year. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill


The Irish economy is on a knife edge, poised between “overheating” and a major Brexit-related downturn, the State’s chief economist has warned. As Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports, John McCarthy describes the situation as “extraordinarily complex” and uncertain, presenting significant challenges for policymakers.

A Government clampdown on international funds which were avoiding paying tax on their Irish property portfolios has led to a sharp decrease in corporation tax revenueceipts, new figures from the Revenue Commissioners show. Fiona Reddan reports on the data, which shows that corporation tax paid by so-called Section 110 companies contributed €201 million to the exchequer in 2016, but this had fallen to €93 million by 2018.

Dublin Airport is halting work on a ¤2 billion expansion following regulators’ proposals to cut the gateway’s passenger charges, hitting projects needed to accommodate record numbers of air travellers. Barry O’Halloran has the story.

Ciarán Hancock brings news of a Cork medicine development company’s new 20-year exclusive Chinese licencsing and distribution deal for a product that helps people suffering from iron deficiency. Solvotrin’s Active Iron product will be available on Chinese ecommerce channels in the coming months, and later through hundreds of thousands of retail outlets.

Former BBC “Apprentice” winner Dr Leah Totton is considering setting up a clinic in Dublin, but Brexit has made her pause, she tells Peter Hamilton. Derry native Dr Totton’s clinics offer services such as botox, hair transplants and mole removal.

In this week’s Business Agenda, Laura Slattery takes a look at the very public decline of Arcadia, the retail empire headed by Philip Green that is gearing up to close a raft of Irish outlets. She traces what went wrong for the group’s brands, including Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins, which once ruled many shopping streets.

Still in retail, Mark Paul examines his purchasing conscience in his Caveat column, acknowledging that we’re not always prepared to pay for the lofty standards we might expect of retailers such as Penney’s, or Primark.

Our Business Interview features Peter Jackson, chief executive of Flutter Entertainment, the newly formed owner of Paddy Power and Betfair. He tells Barry O’Halloran about the group’s extensive plans to hit the big time in the US, while also recalling his start in the betting world as a child attending races with his father in Yorkshire.

In his economics column, John FitzGerald considers the high levels of integration in the EU economy and asks how the rise of populist movements might affect that. Anything that unpicks the deep interconnections that exist, he suggests, is likely to be far from simple or pleasant.

Mexico resident Laura Kehoe is this week’s Wild Goose. She tells Barbara McCarthy how a psychology degree in Maynooth brought her into wildlife biology and her current roles as research fellow for the Mexican government and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford.

And in our Work section, Olive Keogh takes on the often-painful subject of performance reviews, wondering whether they work or are simply just toxic for all involved.

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