Can we actually develop a plan to live with Covid or are we destined to be thrown from one wave to the next?  Photograph: Getty Images

How to support the hardest hit sectors will be a big issue if the new variant does bring more serious problems

Staff in the Covid emergency department of St Vincent’s Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic. File photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Smart Money: Impact of high-cost Ireland and planning problems have all played their part

Pension tax relief is offered at 20 per cent or 40 per cent, depending on earnings, while the State-top-up wold be equivalent to tax relief of 25 per cent.

Large numbers of people rely solely on State pension for retirement income

If supports are cut off too quickly, some viable businesses could be pushed into insolvency. Photograph: iStock

Government faces delicate task of phasing out payments while protecting viable firms

Anglo Irish Bank went from star turn of the markets to the villain of the piece in just a year and half. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The interlinked story of Anglo and the financial crash have a vital pointer

How is the EU single market to be protected from goods crossing the Irish Border and coming into the EU via an open back door?

Smart Money: The risk is the free-trade agreement negotiated so painstakingly could fall apart

With just €1.3 billion allocated up to 2025 for retrofitting support for private households in the National Development Plan, billions in extra State cash is going to be needed in the years ahead

The Climate Action Plan makes no specific commitment of additional State spending but make no mistake, more cash will be needed

The targets for electric vehicle use and home retrofitting involve significant cost and adjustments by households, as well as longer term benefits. Photograph: Alan Betson

There is still much to do on how to make the essential cuts and how to pay for it all

A changing picture on interest rates has implications for personal finances which go way beyond mortgage repayments and returns on savings. Image: iStock

Smart Money: The post-Covid bounceback leaves central banks with a dilemma

The study found a broadly north-south income divide in the Republic, with the most prosperous areas south of a line between Galway and Dundalk, while in the North the divide is east-west, with more activity centred around Belfast.Photograph: iStock

Employment growth for period 2000 to 2018 in the Republic is roughly double the rate of North

Climate change: Choose to put less of the burden on agriculture and you end up putting more on the energy sector, transport and transitions by households and businesses. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Targets and trade-offs will prompt finger-pointing by all affected sectors

The push to get  people to cycle and walk  more and drive less in their daily lives is set to continue. Photograph: Finbarr O’Reilly/Getty Images

Agenda: New proposals will bring binding targets – and there will be winners and losers

Many aspects of people’s day-to-day lives will be affected by the anticipated changes

The latest report on Ireland’s climate challenge points to big changes for households

If the Government targets transport, this could require a scrappage scheme for up to 800,000 old diesel and petrol vehicles to be replaced by electric vehicles.

New targets have big implications for households, businesses and the State

Cliff Taylor: If there were bouncers in your workplace checking vaccine certs, a much fuller return would be possible. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Change has now been embedded long past a tipping point

The provision of recharging points have improved, but is it enough?

Smart Money: Move away from supporting plug-in hybrid grants a key signal

British prime minister Boris Johnson. The speculation is that the UK would either abandon some or all checks on goods entering Northern Ireland if it  invoked article 16. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/EPA

If so, Ireland would risk being seen as less than a full member of the EU single market

In trying to keep the public finances on a safe track, while nodding to the political agenda by introducing chunky spending increases, did the Ministers get it right?

Resolving problems in housing, health and childcare may yet revive Coalition’s fortunes

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe delivers the budget. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Surge in tax revenue transforms outlook for public finances – but big questions lie ahead

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath at the Department of Finance on Monday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Christmas bonus to be paid in full as part of €4.7 billion package

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure  Michael McGrath have been trying to perform the traditional pre-Budget two-step, telling the public that the economy is strong, but trying to persuade their ministerial colleagues that there is no extra cash to spend. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

A surprisingly strong economic rebound brings with it inflation, wage and cost pressures

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe wasn’t playing with a particularly strong hand – everyone knew Ireland would have to get on board eventually and political pressure has been fierce. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Bloomberg

Having signed up for the OECD deal, Ireland now needs to see it done

Paschal Donohoe has said he intends to stick to the plans already outlined for  Budget 2022 in terms of extra spending and lower taxes. Photograph: AFP via Getty

Pre-budget White Paper shows dramatically improved budgetary picture

Many developing countries say their interests have been sidelined and Oxfam calls the agreement “a rich country stitch-up”.   Photograph: iStock

Plan ‘provides certainty’ needed for State to sign up, Paschal Donohoe says

The European Commission’s willingness to approve a 12.5 per cent rate for companies under the OECD limit is a surprise. Photograph: Getty Images

Outcome shows Paschal Donohoe correct to hold off on draft terms of OECD deal

The playing pitch for attracting foreign direct investment is changing and tax will not be as important a tool in future. Image: iStock

Inward investment in addition to public finances will be firmly in the spotlight

Paschal Donohoe has been seeking assurances from the European Commission that it will not seek to impose a higher rate than 15 per cent when the OECD deal is translated into EU law. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

New 15% rate to apply only to businesses with turnover above €750m

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said it is the ‘right decision’, ‘made in the interests of our country’. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Firms making less than €750m a year will be taxed at previous rate of 12.5%

There is no doubt that remote working has operated successfully in most cases. Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: Danger lies in seeking one silver bullet solution

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘The vast majority of companies will not be impacted.’ Photograph: Daragh Mac Sweeney/Provision

As State set to accord with OECD 15% rate for multinationals, only quarter of voters agree


Donohoe set to ask Cabinet to approve revised OECD accord ending 12.5% rate

The OECD deal is not done. A number of countries who signed up to the original draft deal are threatening to pull out, and some developing countries argue they are not getting a fair deal

Analysis: There are, however, further battles and threats ahead

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe who is in Luxembourg for meetings with European finance ministers. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Understood Government has been successful in having ‘at least 15%’ removed from draft text

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe who is in Luxembourg for meetings with European finance ministers. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Success reported on having sticking-point phrase ‘at least 15%’ removed from draft text

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire: ‘Ireland is in the process of evolving ...and a compromise can emerge around 15 per cent as the real effective rate.’ Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Minimum tax rate of 15% no longer the main sticking point to reach deal, France says

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe confirms he received new draft text of the OECD agreement. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ireland under pressure to sign up to the OECD agreement to end State’s 12.5% rate

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe had called for the “at least” to be removed to leave clarity on the future rate.   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Government has been seeking language change over inclusion of ‘at least’ in plan

European commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager is due to meet Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on Monday.  Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Pair to discuss tax reform plan ahead of key gathering of 140 countries on Friday

The political danger for Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe would be if he did not get much by way of concessions as a result of not signing up to the draft deal over the summer. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fight will be worthwhile if OECD deal sets new global minimum corporate tax rate at 15%

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

Domestic economy is expected to grow by 5.25%

Will Ireland sign up to the global corporate tax deal?

Smart Money: State could be faced with a major decision in the next week

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Alan Betson

Concerns that wording could leave room for open-ended future rises may be assuaged

Over the past year a record €13.4 billion in mortgages was approved. Photograph: iStock

Higher mortgage lending, build-up of savings and ‘bank of mam and dad’ are key factors

The wider economy is not as exposed to swings in the housing market as it was when the financial crisis hit in 2008, an ESRI report says. Photograph:  Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Lending rules credited with helping break link between housing crash and overall economy

‘Focus on boosting investment in housing and the green agenda and helping the sectors still caught by the pandemic. Help those most in need . . . And that is it for now.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Pandemic bonus row just the latest sign of pressure to carry on spending

There are signs of a big debate brewing, with a Department of Finance report published recently saying that the current policy was unsustainable. Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: High stakes in the big debate over our pensions and how they are paid for

British prime minister Boris Johnson: While Donald Trump talked up the prospect of a UK-US trade deal, President Joe Biden is a lot less enthusiastic. Photograph: Michael Reynolds

London likely compromised on rules and standards with NI protocol as problem

One of Ireland’s key calling cards has been certainty and stability in the tax arrangements for international investors. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Cliff Taylor: No doubt way is being cleared for a change in Ireland’s corporation tax regime

The council warned  that moving too quickly on demand measures could push up house price inflation. Photograph: iStock

Borrowing plan could overheat economy and leave less room to react to future shocks

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe has said he hopes Ireland can sign up to the OECD deal on tax – and if it does, it is clear that the 12.5 per cent rate will be no more.

Cliff Taylor Q&A: What would Ireland look for before signing up to deal?

Henry Street: You would doubt that tax cuts are anywhere near the top of people’s priority list, much of course as we would all like to pay less. Many in the most damaged sectors are worried about their jobs.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Any tax changes in the budget will be no more than fiddling at the edges

The pre-budget papers argue there is little justification for improving tax relief available to people working from home. Photograph: iStock

Covid depletion of social insurance fund may see rate rise from current 4% to 5.5% by 2025

The surge in corporation tax in 2020 was due entirely to a jump in profits in the information and communications sector,  according to the Tax Strategy Group papers.

Officials reiterate ‘broad support’ for OECD tax reform proposals

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. The Governement will find it difficult to take money away from taxpayers. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Smart Money : Most experts are now telling Government that caution is needed in its budget plans

Because of the way Malta allows companies value intellectual property, Christian Aid calculates that at least €477 million in earnings from 2019 on can be sheltered from Irish and Maltese tax.

Use of Malta as tax haven to replace ‘double Irish’ comes as State under OECD scrutiny

Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf was the latest to point out that longer-term, permanent spending increases need to be funded by new taxes. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The economic bounceback will soon give way to furious debate on economic policy

There is  evidence that, in some sectors at least, a shortage of employees is pushing up wages as pandemic restrictions lift. Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: Some areas are seeing increases of up to 16%

Rising prices and rents are in prospect for the Autumn as the market squeeze continues. Photo: PA Wire

Rising house prices and rents in prospect – coalition must hope new supply will help in time

Working from home: some won’t want to return to the office. File photograph: Getty

Smart Money: The go-ahead may come for a slow office reopening from mid-September, but questions remain

Talks are under way between government departments on a plan which would see couples or individuals given a grant to renovate vacant properties in towns around the country.  Photograph: Steve Marcus

House crisis plans include downsizing stamp duty discount and Fair Deal rent break

The Dixie Fire burns near Quincy, California, US, in July 2021. The economic costs of avoiding climate action are huge. Photograph: Nic Coury/The New York Times

Cliff Taylor: Building political support for the scale of action needed is a huge task

Smart Money: Imports from Britain have collapsed

Illustration: iStock/Getty

If working from home sticks, the big winners will be our suburbs and commuter towns

The cost of building, particularly apartments, makes affordability a big problem. File photograph: Getty

Serious rental squeeze in prospect as workers start to return to offices

Institutional landlords generally rent out large apartment blocks aimed at better-off tenants.  Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: For every two landlords selling, only one is buying

The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, where former minister Katherine Zappone hosted a controversial function. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Intent of regulations was clear, even if technicalities provide an escape clause

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe had one-to-one meetings in the context of the proposed tax deal last month.  Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Smart Money: If a deal is done, Ireland would face stiff penalties if it did not join in

A big row is coming about what the ‘return to work’ will look like. Photograph: iStock

Working from home, Covid measures and public spending will be the big flashpoints

An EU survey of consumers confirmed that, in general, fraud is big business with Irish people among those most affected. Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: Scam calls are a business – the economics explain the deluge of fake calls

‘How do we get homes – particularly apartments – built at a reasonable cost?’ File photograph: Getty

If the big new strategy is to work, then in time house prices will have to fall

Is the three-days-in, two-days-out model the way forward, or just company bosses and office owners trying to evolve to a model which does not shift too far away from the past? Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: When, and how, will those working from home go back to work?

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe have had one-to-one meetings in the context of the proposed tax deal. File photograph: Bloomberg

Biden and Yellen must get Congress on side first for a deal to go ahead

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: “Details really matter.”

Paschal Donohoe says State will have to make call later this year or next

What is the deal about and will Ireland sign up? Photograph: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty

Donohue objecting to global minimum tax for multinationals under agreement

It makes sense to have a housing strategy and to make this a national priority. Photograph: Getty Images

Byelection loss will increase pressure, but will the new housing plan deliver?

The Covid-19 Delta variant is likely to delay economic recovery but not significantly change it, according to Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Central Bank governor says ECB is paying close attention to UK after ‘remarkable’ decision to lift all restrictions

There is a strong political wind down to collect more from big companies and close off their opportunities to shift profits and cut tax bills.

Smart Money: Even if the OECD talks fall apart, Ireland still faces the danger of US legislation relating to its companies

The longer the pandemic goes on, the greater the damage to key sectors of the economy such as hospitality, retail, leisure and tourism.

Delta variant has raised new questions about pace of recovery and longer-term prospects

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

The State will soon owe €250bn, we learned this week. Barely an eyebrow was raised

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said Ireland “broadly supported” the OECD package, but did not sign up “today”. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Analysis: Clear reputational risks in holding out on deal to make companies pay fair share

Paschal Donohoe has expressed reservations about the OECD  proposals. Photograph: EPA

Some 130 states have accepted the outline agreement – Ireland will remain in the talks

Outdoor dining in Dublin this week. The key thing to watch  in the months ahead how the core unemployment rate reacts as pandemic supports are wound down. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Smart Money: Younger workers have been the most exposed during this crisis

 The consequences of the decisions are significant. The winding down of Covid-19 supports will take longer and the economic damage will be greater. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/

Delay to hospitality brings knock-on burdens to economy and puts other returns in doubt

  Michael McGrath:  he says winding down emergency spending “is fundamental to the task of bringing our national finances to a safe place over the period ahead”.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Big economic departments want spending to fall into line, but there is huge political pressure to spend, particularly on health an(...)

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the Summer Economic Statement would include an “anchor” for the public finances. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/EPA

Ministers need to settle the row over what limits to put on government spending

Smart Money: Headline GDP figures suggest that Irish people are well-off but are we?

A previous analysis by former Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan based on 2019 figures estimated that Ireland might be around 8th to 12th place in terms of the EU prosperity league, when distortions to GDP data are factored out. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Figures focus solely on consumption and excludes multinational accounting which inflates Irish GDP

Loyalists take part in an anti-protocol rally in Portadown, Co Armagh, earlier this month. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

DUP chaos leaves stability vital for economic progress hanging in the balance

NTMA chief executive Conor O’Kelly was appointed in 2015 on an initial five-year term, which was extended  in 2020. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

O’Kelly’s successor faces task of managing enlarged debt pile due to Covid crisis

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen referred to aspects of the plan which would put pressure on countries to adopt a new agreed minimum rate. Photograph: Justin Tallis, WPA Pool/ Getty

Irish companies with US operations could be hit if Ireland does not fall into line

Facebook’s Dublin headquarters. The group has decided to  allow some of its employees to work from overseas permanently. Photograph: iStock

Smart Money: Tax rates are only part of the story

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen (left) meets with President of the Eurogroup and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on the second day of the G7 Finance Ministers Meeting, at Lancaster House in London on June 5th, 2021. Photograph: Alberto Pezzal/AFP via Getty Images

International tax reform: Deal or no deal, there is a lot on the line for Ireland

The Government has made some welcome moves – on the right to disconnect and request remote working. But if it wants to put in place policies to push this in certain directions, now is the time.

Government policy must look beyond short term and kill commutes to ease working lives

Pubs, restaurants and retail have reopened but some sectors of the Irish economy never stopped growing during the pandemic.

Smart Money: big manufacturing and service sectors are continuing to grow

Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso with Minister for Finance and Eurogroup president Paschal Donohoe at the G7 finance ministers meeting in London at the weekend. Photograph: Rob Pinney/PA

Cliff Taylor: Low corporate tax will in future be a much less powerful tool to attract investment into State

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen meets President of the Eurogroup and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the G7 meeting in London on Saturday. Photograph: Getty

In what could be the biggest corporation tax reform in years, Ireland stands to lose €2bn

Minister for Finance and Eurogroup president Paschal Donohoe at a G7 meeting of  finance ministers in London today. Photograph: Getty

G7 backs 15% corporate tax rate in move which threatens Ireland’s 12.5% rate

Only one-third of 30 year olds own a property, leaving the rest depending on a hugely expensive rental market.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Resources must target jobs and housing as high rent and low hope haunt generation

Boards are increasingly seeing core sustainability experience and expertise as vital and not just as a ‘nice to have’.

UK Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability opens an Irish hub

More articles