Brexit was always going to be a negative for Ireland, so what we are talking about here is damage limitation. Photograph: Yves Herman/Pool/AP

There are positives to the proposed Brexit deal for the Irish economy if it goes through

The EU and the UK have reportedly agreed the main details of the withdrawal agreement. Photograph: Getty

Foster says NI trade rules being set in Brussels would be ‘democratically unacceptable’

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Does he accept the precedent of EU interference in our tax affairs and risk the backlash? Photograph: Donall Farmer

Paschal Donohoe hopes other countries will stay the course in opposing the French push for a new tax on big tech

EU and Irish sources say the original EU plan for the Irish backstop must also remain in the withdrawal agreement as a final fail-safe.

Assurances involve prospect of UK staying in customs union for post-Brexit period

Lending volumes shot up through late 2016 and early 2016 from low levels and have now topped out

Smart Money: are we seeing a temporary slowing in mortgage borrowing or something more fundamental?

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney at the “Getting Ireland Brexit Ready” workshop at the Convention Centre, Dublin, last Thursday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Decision due shortly on whether there will be a November summit on UK withdrawal

Bernard Byrne: leaving chief executive role at AIB for a deputy chief executive job at Davy. Photograph: Julien Behal

Frustration at bank salary caps ignores fact sector smaller than era of boom-time folly

Tongue in cheek? Leo Varadkar tweeted that the State would be ‘happy’ to offer financial help to the UK in the future.  Photograph: PA Wire

Smart Money: Leo Varadkar’s tweet raised eyebrows, particularly as we stil owe the UK €4m

The transition period only kicks in if there is a Brexit withrawal deal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and UK prime minister Theresa May: If talks fail, we face new trading arrangements being introduced overnight. Photograph: PA

There is no magic solution to the Border issue and it is not clear whether there is any route to a compromise either

While the continued common travel area would allow free movement of people, goods would face different regulations. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Cliff Taylor: Businesses have faced uncertainty since the vote in the summer of 2016

Interest rates on the US and UK have started to rise and it is only a matter of time before the ECB follows suit. Image: Irish Times Graphics

Smart Money: ECB will start to raise rates in 2019. What will this mean for mortgage borrowers?

European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier attends an EU General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, on October 16, 2018.Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Donald Tusk has warned a no-deal Brexit is‘more likely than ever.’ But if it happens it could be chaotic

Plan A –  Denis Naughten, then minister for communications, announces details of the National Broadband Plan in April 2017. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Government has to make a call – it can’t let this broadband saga drag on and on

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: What has he really done for single employees?  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Smart Money: A typical PAYE single worker got €16 a week from last three budgets - many self-employed couples have got €40

“For spending to keep increasing at this rate, we need taxes to keep rising. If there is any sudden economic downturn, spending plans would, sooner or later, have to be adjusted.” File photograph: iStockPhoto

With extra resources to be poured into housing and health, overall in 2019 the tax burden on the economy will rise – with plenty o(...)

There is no immediate reason why companies would want to move their IP again out of Ireland

Move will restrict big companies transferring IP assets to other parts of their operations

Paschal Donohoe at the announcement of Budget 2019. Photograph: Collins

Cliff Taylor: Basic gains for taxpayers come in below €5 a week, though some will gain more

The Revenue Commissioners report is to be published by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

Bulk of additional money in 2016 came from 149 taxpayers earning more than €400,000

Photograph: iStock

Ministers are playing up tax reductions, but the extra cash is going to higher spending

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: announced a change to his budget target for next year. Photograph: Donall Farmer

Exchequer benefits from late corporation tax surge this year, but needs new revenues for 2019

Just how do the super-rich do it? Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: High income PAYE taxpayers pay at a higher rate than the wealthiest

The problem for the Irish Government is that while UK membership of the customs union would suit us, the rest of the EU believes the UK should not be allowed to pick and choose

Irish firms face the prospect of rising business and economic uncertainty in the months ahead

Minister for finance Brian Lenihan addresses a press conference at Government Buildings following the bank guarantee in September 2008. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall

Cliff Taylor: We must start managing our economy in defensive mode and hold on to gains

The Comptroller & Auditor General’s report says 140 high net worth individuals, or 42 per cent of the total, declared taxable income of less than €125,000 in 2015.

C&AG report shows huge variation in tax paid by 334 high net worth individuals

Valère Moutarlier said the “jury was still out” on Ireland’s attitude, but that, if the tax was not agreed at EU level, individual member states would proceed on their own. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Political agreement expected by year end on interim arrangement, says head of tax directorate

The political decision has been made to hike spending – so the tax burden will not fall

Minister for Transport Shane Ross says he has nothing to do with the National Transport Authority’s new bus plan.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Cliff Taylor: Quangoland is back in business

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May arrives for a family photo during the European Union leaders informal summit in Salzburg. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters.

Smart Money: Everything you wanted to know about the Border question, but were afraid to ask

In the North,with no government in Stormont and the uncertainties of Brexit, investment is going to remain depressed. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Cliff Taylor: Strategic thinking about the North’s economy is absent in Brexit debate

Sterling has edged up over the last three weeks, gaining to under 89p against the euro now, compared to 91p in late August.

As Brexit withdrawal talks reach a crunch phase, the UK currency is firmly in the spotlight

With the Land Development Agency, the big winners could be developers and the assorted hangers on in the big advisory companies, who have already milked Nama. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Land agency may trap State between private and public house provision

The volatile nature of Ireland’s housing market is cause for caution

Smart Money: The Irish model of wealth generation is tied up in boom-and-bust Irish house prices

Ireland is in a tricky position as pressure grows for reform

End of unanimity voting on tax would be hugely dangerous to Ireland

“If the Government stood back, the tax would be levied on the basis of prices which have risen by 80 per cent since the last valuation. That would mean a big increase in bills. This will not happen.”

Doing nothing is not an option with revaluation of properties due in November 2019

Pro-Brexit demonstrators protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London: it’s impossible to construct an economic model which will tell you what will happen in the few months after a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

A no-deal Brexit is a very real risk and would bring chaos across a range of areas

Taoiseach  wants to increase the standard rate cut-off point - the top of the band before someone pays tax at 40% - to €37,500.

Smart Money: Read Varadkar’s letter to Martin closely and you can calculate what the budget will mean for your pocket

“With Brexit looming, there is a strong case for aiming to move the exchequer firmly into surplus.” Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Taxes were below expectations in August and so there won’t be much leeway on budget day

Welcoming the report, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said in a statement that “the Government’s objective as set out in the summer economic statement is to balance the budget over the economic cycle and to use windfall receipts for debt reduction”.

Department of Finance points out that national debt per head of population is €42,000

When people on average wages cannot afford rents then they are too high. Photograph: Irish Times Graphics

Smart Money: big gap emerging between new tenants and those with an existing lease

At the Virginia Show in Co Cavan, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar mentioned the need to increase investment and spending on key public services and a tax and welfare package which ‘puts a little bit of money into everyone’s pocket’.

Cliff Taylor: Promised extra spending will take up most of our room for manoeuvre

The Revenue Commissioners hit on €80,000 as an income above which a new higher top rate of income tax might kick in

Smart Money: Budget tax relief is to be aimed at ‘middle earners’. But what does this mean?

“Greece really needs a strong and relatively stable international backdrop, because it needs economic growth, at an estimated 1.4 per cent last year and 2 per cent this year, to take hold.” Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Cliff Taylor: The country faces huge challenges and targets it will struggle to meet

The annual overruns in the health budget are as predictable now as the arrival of the first swallow. Photograph: Getty Images

Cliff Taylor: Health plan must be given a real chance despite the demands of our system

The cost of mortgages and rent are impacting on disposable income

Smart Money: No inflation and rising wages. So why don’t you feel better off?

As more and more parts of the market hit affordability barriers, we should see the overall rate of growth slow further. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

House price growth in Dublin is cooling as Central Bank rules and affordability kick in

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan  has said the country is in an economic war and called on the population to sell dollars and buy lira

Cliff Taylor: Investors are looking for a much more robust response than seen to date, fearing the Turkish economy may be heading (...)

The Pfizer plant in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork: In the past, big regional multinational closures have  dealt heavy blows. However, foreign direct investment is  a huge part of a region’s development.  Photograph:  Michael Mac Sweeney/ Provision

Soaring rental costs in the capital leading more tech firms to locate outside Dublin

You can bring in goods worth €430 from outside the EU but once imports go above this value, customs and VAT become payable. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Smart Money: a special report on what Brexit will mean for Irish households

The fall of sterling  follows weekend comments by the UK’s international trade secretary Liam Fox, who warned that the risk of no-deal Brexit had risen to 60%.   Photograph: EPA

British currency breaks through 90p ceiling, adding to Irish exporter woes but making cross-border shopping more attractive

Warning lights will start to flash red for sterling if a Brexit transition period, due to kick in when the UK leaves in March 2019, is threatened. Photograph: EPA

Fraught territory as sterling weakens and move over 90p to euro may ring alarm bells

Grandparents are a vital cog without which many families could not function or would really struggle.

Independent Alliance idea must be killed off before time is wasted looking at it

Gym membership in Ireland is the most expensive in the EU but it’s getting more competitive. Photograph: Irish Times Graphics

Smart Money: It’s not cheap but competition for the sweaty euro is benefiting consumers

Privacy concerns could undermine US multinationals such as Google, the NTMA warns. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Caution comes after strong concerns expressed by National Competitiveness Council

The Intel facility at Leixlip, Co Dublin. Just five big players account for 30 per cent of all of the Republic’s exports. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Cliff Taylor: No quick fix to our economic reliance on handful of big players

The big players in the tech and pharma sectors are responsible for huge amounts of economic activity, productivity growth and tax revenue.

Third of exports come from just five companies, according to competitiveness council

The papers, published on Tuesday, examine the income levels at which earners enter the higher income tax rate in other countries, illustrating that the €34,550 level in Ireland is relatively low. File photograph: Getty Images

Strategy group suggests increasing diesel and carbon tax, and tax relief for self-employed

A view of Central Bank of Ireland’s headquarters in Dublin’s docklands. The financial regulator has urged caution in the upcoming budget. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Central Bank wants extra infrastructure to be paid for via higher taxes or lower spending, rather than more borrowing

US president Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker delivering a joint statement on trade outside the White House on Wednesday. Photograph:  Win McNamee/Getty Images

Both promised not to impose more tariffs and to find a way to remove those already introduced

UK airlines fly to the US under the so-called Open Skies deal. There can be no guarantee that the US will agree to replicate the terms of this for UK airlines post-Brexit

When the UK leaves the EU and becomes a ‘third country’, it ceases to be part of the fully-liberalised EU aviation market

Some younger drivers are being quoted €5,0000 to €6,000 for an annual premium. Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: Premiums may have fallen but too many still paying too much

US President Donald Trump meets with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in the Oval Office of the White House.

A lot more talking needed to reach deal on cutting tariffs and other trade barriers

A report by the Central Bank concludes that some banks still do not understand what a “customer focus” means for their organisation. All have made progress, the report says, but some are moving quicker than others. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/Bloomberg

Central Bank verdict is sobering: a decade after the crisis banks are still not focused on the consumer

Minister for Finance Donohoe. The Department of Finance is basing its budget sums on GDP growth of 4 per cent next year and 3.4 per cent in 2020. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Effects of economic recovery and external threats require shift in budget strategy

Irish ortgage borrowers are still paying way more than their counterparts elsewhere in the EU

Smart Money: Irish borrowers are paying almost twice what their counterparts in the EU are paying

Governor Philip Lane with deputy governor Sharon Donnery. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Philip Lane and Sharon Donnery are strong contenders but government can only choose one

Out of total Irish Water spending of over €1.3 billion billion this year, just €230 million is expected to come from commercial water charges and connection charges

Cliff Taylor: A lot remains unclear about the thinking behind this move

US president Donald Trump and British prime minister Theresa May  at Chequers on Friday. Photograph: Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images

US president was correct when he said the UK cannot have it every way after it leaves the EU

UK Brexit secretary  Dominic Raab outlining details the White Paper on Brexit in the   House of Commons on Thursday. Photograph:  PA Wire

Cliff Taylor: EU will be glad that UK has finally tabled a proposal, but differences remain

Aaron Doyle (8) was among Glasnevin Na Fianna members who visited en mass the public information session hosted by Transport Infrastructure Ireland about the proposed Metrolink project. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Smart Money: State plans to invest €100bn in new infrastructure in the coming years

Conor O’Kelly, chief executive of the NTMA: ‘If the cycle is a 12-hour clock we are around 11 o’clock right now.’ Photograph: Iain White/Fennells

It is time for Ireland to run a surplus and sell some of its remaining bank shares

Theresa May is proposing that the UK and EU would form a commons customs area, but that the UK could set its own tariff levels with non EU countries.  Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reutes/File Photo

Cliff Taylor: The UK has moved but is it far enough?

Ryanair plane at Beauvais Airport, Paris. Airline is trying to work out how to mix a unionised workforce with its low-cost model. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Cliff Taylor: Michael O’Leary must balance wage rises and airline’s low-cost status

There are a variety of reasons behind why some goods and services are so much more expensive in Ireland. Graphic: Irish Times Graphics

Smart Money: Eurostat report says prices in Ireland are 25% above the EU average. Why?

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: big issue is not whether taxpayers get an extra €7 or €10 a week, but about hospital waiting lists and housing. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Cliff Taylor: Another overrun in health spending a sign of challenges for ministers

German chancellor Angela Merkel  and  French president Emmanuel Macron   holding hands  at the start of the second day of an European Council summit in Brussels on Friday. Photograph:  EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

Leaders in France and Germany are looking over their shoulders at right-wing elements at home

The Irish housing market has had a uniquely volatile nature over the past 20 years

The Smart Money: Cliff Taylor examines economic issues affecting your life and your pocket

Taxes on lower incomes are significantly less here than the international average – and the numbers exempted entirely from paying tax are also unusually high. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

An Irish worker on €18,000 pays just €510 in tax and USC; in England, that would be €1,696 and €4,818 in Germany

US president Donald Trump. He  is leading the charge towards economic nationalism, a kind of “we win, you lose” economics. Photograph: Reuters

Big businesses have been criticised for stating the obvious – trade wars and Brexit come with a price

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive  David Drumm was sentenced to six years in prison for a fraud involving €7.2 billion in deposits. Photograph: Collins Courts

No certainty that revamped institutions and rules will prove effective

Squeezed middle: are those likely to do best out of Budget 2019 the  middle-income earners? Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty

Minister will have to raise extra funds in order to pay for income tax cuts

 The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe,  and Minister of State Michael D’Arcy  at the publication of the Government’s Summer Economic Statement  at Department of Finance, Government Buildings. Photograph:  Tom Honan

Cliff Taylor: Given the short-term threats to growth, Paschal Donohue should move the government finances in to surplus

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg: engaging in a tactic to try to blame somebody else for the consequences of Brexit.  Photograph: PA

MP’s Brexit remarks like saying England should play World Cup with an oval ball

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, said rates will remain at zero for another year.

ECB president Mario Draghi promises rates will remain where they are well into 2019

Theresa May: scraped though a key vote on Brexit legislation in the  House of Commons  on Tuesday. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters

Irish businesses need to prepare for chaos ahead as the talks reach the crunch stage

“Congestion and the housing crunch are the things within our own control which, if not tackled, could lead to economic growth running into the buffers over the next few years.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

We have low inflation but a high cost of living and housing costs are shooting up

Macquarie’s renewables arm recently took an equity stake in the Poolbeg incinerator in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Decision on application for full Irish banking licence understood to be imminent

Brexit costs: bulky goods such as machinery can be exposed to the complications of holding them at borders.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Border checks and bureaucracy might almost double delays, says Central Bank

Italian share prices have fallen, and the cost to Italy of raising borrowings has gone up as the new government’s intentions become clear.  Photograph: Getty Images

Government parties have plans which would drive a coach and horses through EU budget rules

Italy’s Five-Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio who has promised to spend more, boost growth and ignore EU budget rules.

Expect the warnings from rest of EU about destabilising the euro zone to ramp up

Theresa May: the British prime minister is proposing a kind of ‘Hotel California’ solution, where the UK checks out of the customs union but doesn’t actually leave. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The prime minister’s latest proposal on the Border will see UK tied to the customs union

Pro-EU supporters outside the Houses of Parliament in London earlier this month,. Photo : EPA

All sides taking June deadline seriously, with signs now that London is seeking to recast Border backstop deal

What do you tell a state with weird economic data, a kind of an economic boom under way, but still suffering the wounds from the crash?  Photograph: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

If we up spending and cut tax, we risk fuelling sectors that may already be overheating

Economic growth: Klaus Regling said Ireland had made an impressive recovery from the crisis, with the highest growth rate in Europe last year. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty

Government should boost rainy-day fund plans, says European Stability Mechanism head

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: already grumbling about the route chosen for the metro. You would wonder will the plan ever get done. Photograph:  Alan Betson

Right to object in Ireland runs deep and seems to override wider public interest

European Stability Mechanism managing director Klaus Regling speaking at the Central Bank on Wednesday.

EU lacks economic risk-sharing between countries inside euro area, says Regling

Jacob Rees-Mogg: When you hear Conservative Brexiteers such as   him talk about Britain deciding what kind of borders it wants to have after Brexit, it is clear they don’t know what they are talking about, or are choosing to ignore reality. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty

Commerce needs to take hard Brexiteers to task as basic trade mechanics are overlooked

Bertie Ahern: will his achievements be eclipsed by his shortcomings? Photograph: David Sleator

The former taoiseach resigned 10 years ago this weekend. We assess his legacy

 Medical card and HSE letter: cervical cancer controversy has shone a light again on HSE structures and processes – or lack of them – and its culture and strained relationship with the Department of Health.

Outsourced health agency is political firewall but lack of State control preserves its flaws

There are some signs of more houses and apartments coming on stream, but inevitably this is slow. Photograph: Alan Betson

Renting now more costly than paying off a mortgage in most areas

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