Facebook quizzed, PTSB loan sell-off and competitiveness warning

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

Permanent TSB will receive €1.3 billion in cash from Start Mortgages, backed by US private equity group Lone Star, for a batch of bad home loan secured on 10,700 properties (of which about 7,400 are private homes) that had a face value of €2.1 billion

Permanent TSB will receive €1.3 billion in cash from Start Mortgages, backed by US private equity group Lone Star, for a batch of bad home loan secured on 10,700 properties (of which about 7,400 are private homes) that had a face value of €2.1 billion

 

Facebook will try to persuade an Oireachtas committee today that the problems identified in a damning investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme were a result of issues at CPL Resources, its Irish training partner, and its own policy failings.

The company’s appearance before the committee comes a day after the social media giant said it has discovered the first co-ordinated disinformation campaign designed to influence the US midterm elections, but stopped short of identifying Russia as being behind the attempts to interfere in US democracy.

Permanent TSB will receive €1.3 billion in cash from Start Mortgages, backed by US private equity group Lone Star, for a batch of bad home loan secured on 10,700 properties (of which about 7,400 are private homes) that had a face value of €2.1 billion. News of the deal prompted warnings that some of the borrowers could lose their homes as the loans’ new owner would be less likely to agree deals on arrears than the bank.

Ireland’s reliance on a small number of major multinationals leaves the economy vulnerable and threatens the outlook for growth, according to new research from the National Competitiveness Council, which has issued a stark warning about the sustainability of our economic model. It coincides with another economic report out today, warning that the Government needs to boost spending on areas such as education and infrastructure to protect the Republic’s economy from long-term risks such as Brexit.

The Department of Finance has calculated that the special 9 per cent VAT for tourism has cost €2.6 billion since its introduction in 2011, including €490 million in tax foregone last year. The department’s report suggests that the rate’s economic usefulness has declined since its introduction, and decries the scale of its cost in tax foregone as a “deadweight” when set against “the limited benefits” of retaining the rate.

An increase in the income level at which earners become liable to the higher 40 per cent income tax rate, and more tax relief for the self-employed, now look highly likely to form part of the October budget. The annual tax strategy group papers, in which senior Government officials scope out tax possibilities for the budget, also identify possible revenue-raising measures, from increasing tax on diesel, higher carbon tax and a further increase in excise on cigarettes.

Finally,Apple last night posted quarterly results that topped Wall Street targets and forecast revenue in the current quarter above expectations, driven by sales of higher-priced iPhones and revenue from services like the App Store, Apple Music and iCloud.