UK’s Brexit bill, mortgage caps, economic warnings and online shopping stats

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

Britain and the EU have reached agreement on the divorce bill, with London expected to pay more than €50 billion

Britain and the EU have reached agreement on the divorce bill, with London expected to pay more than €50 billion. While the final sum will only be agreed at the end of negotiations, it means the focus moves squarely onto the future of the Irish Border. Cliff Taylor writes that "London has repeatedly said that the Border issue can only be sorted in the context of the stage two talks on trade, but Dublin fears that the UK will use the Border as a bargaining tool in those negotiations."

The Central Bank has moved to restrict second-time home buyers' ability to breach a key loan-to-income borrowing restriction as its governor, Philip Lane, warned that house prices face the risk of falling over the medium term.

It comes amid a backdrop of attempts to rapidly boost house supply, which the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council warns today could ultimately cause the economy to overheat. In its latest fiscal assessment, the government's economicy advisory board suggests a sharp uptick in construction activity could risk over-heating the economy, which would require higher taxes to counteract the impact.

While the ongoing housing crisis shows no sign of abating, Cliff Taylor says we shouldn't blame the Central Bank for the broken housing market."The difficult thing for buyers, of course, is that the regulator is only one player in a market which remains dysfunctional," he writes.


Convenience food group Greencore has scrapped executive cash bonuses for the year to September after pre-tax profits fell 74.3 per cent. Chief executive Patrick Coveney saw his total remuneration fall to £1.44 million last year from £2.42 million for the previous year.

With keyboards taking the brunt of the Christmas sales rush, the Central Statistics Office is preparing to get a better grasp on the scale of online shopping in the State. From next year it's set to collect retail sales information on ecommerce giants based in Ireland for the first time. Fiona Reddan reports.

Businesses are "under siege" from a barrage of bogus insurance claims, which are "gnawing away" at confidence and driving many to fold, an Oireachtas committee has heard. Colin Gleeson reports on the concerns expressed by business owners to the rising costs of insurance and increasing commercial property rates.

Staying with the commercial property, Jack Fagan reports on the sale of a prime Temple Bar retail block - that houses the well-known Elephant & Castle restaurant - for €11.2 million.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times