Public finances in the red; jobless rate jumps; and AIB seeks savings

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

Steep commissions charged by Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat are taking a heavy toll on food businesses. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Steep commissions charged by Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat are taking a heavy toll on food businesses. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

The public finances were €8.9 billion in the red last month as the second wave of Covid lockdowns saw spending on pandemic-related supports rise and tax receipts slide. This marks a year-on-year deterioration of €12.3 billion, according to the latest exchequer returns, Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.

They weren’t the only figures released yesterday showing the stark impact of Level 5 restrictions. Unemployment statistics from the CSO for November show theState’s jobless rate jumped to 21 per cent, with more than half a million people out of work.

Banks across Europe will be allowed offer payment breaks on mortgages, personal and business loans again after the European Banking Authority yesterday revised its stance on the issue, writes Dominic Coyle. The EBA said the reactivation of payment moratoriums was a recognition of the “exceptional circumstances” of the second wave of Covid-19 that has swept across Europe in recent weeks.

Staying with financial institutions, AIB has said it will re-open a programme to cut 1,500 jobs in the new year, while seeking €150 million in cost savings by 2023. Joe Brennan reports on the announcement, and speaks to AIB chief executive Colin Hunt about their newly revised three-year plan.

Meanwhile, a new survey published today by MyHome.ie has found that prospective homebuyers have been largely unaffected by the economic impact of Covid-19, with 58 per cent able to save more for a deposit since the advent of the pandemic than they would otherwise have done. Laura Slattery reports.

A new taxi-hailing app, Bolt, enters the Irish market today, with 1,000 drivers signed up in Dublin alone. Parnered with payments app Revolut, the service aims to rival Free Now, with plans to expand to other cities in the near future, writes Mark Paul.

At the opening of the virtual Web Summit yesterday, European Commission presidentUrsula von der Leyean outlined plans for a new set of rules for Europe’s digital market, rewriting the rulebook for large and small companies alike. Ciara O’Brien reports. The Web Summit continues over the next three days, with appearances by a range of speakers including Serena Williams, Slack cofounder Cal Henderson, actor and comedian Kevin Hart and Zoom founder Eric Yuan.

Do you get your news mainly from social media feeds, like more than half of all Irish adults aged between 18-44? In her Net Results column, Karlin Lillington argues that it’s high time the social media giants were made pay up for the content they profit from that traditional media outlets produce.

Looking for some Christmas gift ideas for the tech lover in your life? Check out Ciara O’Brien’s festive gizmo guide covering all budgets, all ages and all interests, with a special focus on Irish producers and suppliers.

Food businesses have become increasingly reliant on delivery apps to keep trading during the pandemic, but in Innovation, we take a look at how the steep commissions charged by Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat are taking a heavy toll.

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