Canada’s cannabis interest in Ireland, Google tax, and retirement age

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

 

The world’s second largest cannabis company predicts the expected opening up of the medicinal market may see up to 50,000 Irish patients being prescribed cannabis within four years. Canadian company Aurora Cannabis is lobbying the State to become an approved supplier of medicinal cannabis. Its efforts here are being led by Dubliner Shane Morris, who is known amongst his peers in the Canadian industry as “Peppermint Paddy”, due to his role in developing cannabis mints.

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, has said it is up to the European Commission to comment on any investigations they may be considering, as he declined to comment on reports that Brussels is scrutinising Google’s tax arrangements in Ireland. He was speaking to Suzanne Lynch in Washington where finance ministers and central bank governors finished the spring meetings of the IMF in a positive mood, saying that global growth was likely to “firm up” in coming months, leading to an improved outlook in 2020.

Revenue has accused the professional accountancy body ACCA of being “grossly irresponsible” and making up false facts in some of its public representations. Peter Hamilton reports on the latest round of an ongoing spat between the two.

Investors have spent almost ¤8.6 billion on offices in the Republic since 2013, a report published today shows. According to a report by Savills, investors pumped €1.48 billion into Irish offices last year, 73 per cent ahead of 2017.

The increased threat of cyber attacks and the introduction of more stringent GDPR data privacy rules are driving companies to take out insurance cover, according to one of the Republic’s leading brokers. Barry O’Halloran reports on how Irish businesses are increasingly looking to protect themselves.

It seems the majority of peopledon’t want to retire at 65. According to a survey out today staff across 71 per cent of Irish companies have asked to work beyond 65, their contractual retirement age, so employers are looking to review their generally inflexible retirement age policies.

The Financial Services Union, which represents about 15,000 finance workers in the Republic and the UK, has come out in favour of a Sinn Féin Bill that would prevent banks from selling home loans to so-called vulture funds without borrowers’ permission.

Finally, Pilita Clarkreports on the brave new world of the “unconference”, an industry gathering with no set schedule or speakers. While she can see the point - having “been bored to a semi-coma by a parade of dull, poorly moderated speakers”- Clark still finds the idea “unbelievably unappealing”.