EIB funding hit by Brexit, corporation tax backlog, and wind energy projects at risk

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EIB president Werner Hoyer: “If we cannot stop this trend towards the return of protectionism…we are going to live in a much less comfortable continent and world very soon.”

EIB president Werner Hoyer: “If we cannot stop this trend towards the return of protectionism…we are going to live in a much less comfortable continent and world very soon.”

 

The European Investment Bank president has warned that “If we cannot stop this trend towards the return of protectionism…we are going to live in a much less comfortable continent and world very soon.” He was speaking to The Irish Times in Dublin last week, as the EIB said it will provide €867 million in funding for various projects in the Republic this year. Describing Brexit as “the most stupid decision since [Roman emperor] Caligula named his horse a consul in Rome 2,000 years ago” he said the EIB would be “one of the hardest hit [by Brexit]of the institutions” in the EU.

Three large corporation tax bills,worth over €100 million each, have yet to be collected by Revenue because of a backlog of appeals at the Tax Appeals Commission (TAC), the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has indicated. Seán Fleming said the State was missing out on significant additional resources because of the amount of tax that remained under appeal and that efforts, including measurable targets, needed to be set for finalising outstanding tax disputes.

A total of 16 wind energy projects – with full planning permission and grid connection offers – “are at medium or high risk of not being built”, the Irish Wind Energy Association has warned. It represents some €800 million in investment due for completion by 2020; €200 million of which is already spent.

In a move that is bound to make the markets jittery China’s foreign ministry called in the US ambassador on Sunday to lodge a “strong protest” over the arrest in Canada of Huawei’s chief financial officer, and said the United States should withdraw its arrest warrant.

Irish construction activity accelerated in November amid a sharp pick-up in housing construction, the latest snapshot of the industry from Ulster Bank shows. The latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) said the greater rate of activity stemmed from an increase in customer demand.

A share register trustee company has hit back at claims by Aryzta that it was to blame for several hundred Irish shareholders missing out on a recent rights issue by the Swiss-Irish food giant.

Employers’ group Ibec has welcomed the introduction of measures to reduce the current waiting times for work permits, suggesting skills shortages in certain sectors, if unaddressed, could damage the State’s economic growth prospects.

In a hard-hitting column, Chris Johns explains why even a second referendum is unlikely to resolve the fragmenting of the UK over Brexit and how this year’s Darwin award should go to the DUP.

Finally,Pilita Clark considers the dilemma facing employers who find that employees have been arrested for conscientious protests over issues like climate change.