New State recovery fund, Tesla’s Irish car sales, and the value of sick pay

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

Tesla Model 3 vehicles are seen during a delivery event at its factory in Shanghai, China earlier this year. The arrival of the more affordable Model 3 family saloon drove Tesla’s sales growth in Ireland last year. Photograph: REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

Tesla Model 3 vehicles are seen during a delivery event at its factory in Shanghai, China earlier this year. The arrival of the more affordable Model 3 family saloon drove Tesla’s sales growth in Ireland last year. Photograph: REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

 

A three-year “recovery fund” to finance infrastructure and worker retraining will be the centrepiece of a package of measures to stimulate the economy, to be presented next month under the programme for government agreed between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party. Mark Paul reports.

The Irish operation of electric car maker Tesla recorded sales of €15 million last year, up by €4 million on 2018, after it sold 270 new cars here. Michael McAleer steers through the numbers.

Ireland was “robbing” its European neighbours by allowing Apple pay such a low effective tax rate, Nobel laureate and economist Joseph Stiglitz has said while, alongside other leading economists, calling on governments to set a minimum corporate tax rate of 25 per cent. Peter Hamilton heard their arguments.

Rival telcos Eir and Siro say they have passed 700,000-800,000 premises with fibre broadband between them, equating to more than a third of homes and businesses in the State. This figure is up from just 20,000 four years ago between the two companies. Eoin Burke-Kennedy goes through the data.

Some will call it an innovation, others an intrusion but people who want to switch energy suppliers to keep down the cost of their bills will be encouraged to ask Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa and its counterpart on Google Home devices for advice in a new campaign from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. Laura Slattery has the details.

The State has missed the boat on selling down more of our holdings in the domestic banks and it could be another decade before another window of opportunity opens, writes Cantillon.

Social media is increasingly the main source of news for Irish 18 to to 24 year-olds, according to the Reuters Digital News Report 2020, with this so-called Generation Z leading a “rapid” rise among those who identify smartphones as their main device for consuming news. Laura Slattery has the details.

In personal finance, Laura Slattery looks atthe issue of sick pay, an issue never more important since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Can workers here afford to be unwell?

In Q&A, a reader asks if they can repay their mortgage from savings once their fixed term expires in December, without being penalised by the bank or raising a red flag with Revenue. Dominic Coyle has the answer.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been bad news for the country but good news for Virgin Media, whose bulletins on the crisis have been watched by large audiences. Laura Slattery explains all in her weekly column.

The Irish Times has published its annual Top 1000 companies magazine, the definitive guide to Irish business. It is also available at irishtimes.com/top1000

The Irish Times has also launched its Innovation Awards for 2020 with applications now invited. The awards will recognise innovations and bright ideas brought to market between January 1st, 2019 and May 30th of this year, across five categories. It’s free to enter so check out irishtimes.com/innovation.

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