State’s investment plans at risk, William Fry to facilitate flexible work, and smoking to be banned in the home

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

The employers' lobby group Ibec has warned that the State's ambitious investment plans for areas such as climate change and housing are at risk unless it boosts the competitiveness of the private sector to increase the tax take to pay for them.

Elsewhere, the move to hybrid working continues as one of the State's largest corporate law firms, William Fry, is to expand with the launch of two new divisions to facilitate flexible working patterns.

Most small businesses were forced to change how they operate because of the pandemic, with profitability and sales down for the majority. But despite this, two-thirds of them have a positive outlook for 2022, according to research by Behaviour & Attitudes this morning.

Meanwhile, school books publisher CJ Fallon says it has been financially unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic but it is still heavily loss-making, accounts filed this month suggest.

The pandemic has led to lots of strange moves by bosses around the world, but the thing that has surprised Pilita Clark most is the notion that employees at the Nomura brokerage firm in Japan will be banned from smoking on the job, even when "working from home".

In this morning's economics column, Eoin Burke-Kennedy warns that the spectre of inflation is returning to haunt economies.

Finally, in our opinion piece, Maurice Mortell argues that data centres are supporting Ireland's economic and green future, and says we should not block progress by launching a crippling campaign against them despite their enormous energy demands.

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Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle is Deputy Business Editor of The Irish Times