Help-to-Buy bonus; a taste for working from home; and two landmark deals

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

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


More than 40 per cent of the first-time homebuyers who have availed of the Government’s help-to-buy scheme already had the necessary deposit to secure a mortgage. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports on new figures from the Revenue Commissioners on a scheme recently enhance din the July Covid stimulus programme.

Elsewhere, companies will face pressure to accommodate working from home even after the Covid-19 crisis passes, according to a new survey. About 80 per cent of those questioned by PeopleSource said they would like to work from home for at least two days each week, writes Colin Gleeson .

Covid has also had an impact on Virgin Media Television, which is toasting the return of live sport with a month of Champions League and Europa League action kicking off this week. Recently appointed managing director Paul Farrell tells Laura Slattery that the advertisers drawn to its “festival of football” won’t offset the Covid-19 revenue plunge at the broadcaster.

And Hammerson, the mall owner that numbers Dundrum Town Centre among its portfolio, is considering raising capital and selling some of its most prized assets to ride out the coronavirus crisis that is battering shopping centres and retailers.

On a more upbeat note, manufacturing activity across the euro zone expanded for the first time since early 2019 last month as demand rebounded after Covid restrictions eased, according to new purchasing managers index data.

Charlie Taylor reports on a landmark deal for Irish digital therapeutics company HealthBeacon, which has been named as an official supplier to the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain, while Colin Gleeson writes that Belfast IT company Core Systems has signed a deal to provide inmate rehab services to Australia’s largest prison.

In Personal Finance, Joanne Hunt reminds us that there are only three more monthly pay cheques ahead of the Christmas shopping splurge. She looks at ways to save ahead for the occasion.

And in Q&A, we look at how a reader’s capital gains tax bill could disappear because they let their parents live rent-free in a property they owned.

Finally, in her column, Laura Slattery examines a battle of wills in the movie industry as one of the big Hollywood studios flexes its financial muscle and cinemas snipe at each other over how best to fight their corner as the look to survive the Covid shutdown.

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