Computer-generated image Metro North: investment spending lets the economy grow more quickly by increasing its productive capacity.

Vital infrastructure can bolster economy but delivery will be a huge challenge

While a lot of the focus will be on the Metro and roads, a lot of the cash goes towards keeping the lights on

Most forecasters expect house prices to keep rising this year, but at a slower rate

Recent indications that price rises might be slowing quickly scotched by December data

Cost of Brexit: Copenhagen Economics estimates that the UK’s departure from the EU will cause the value of output from key parts of the agrifood sector to fall between 10 and 20 per cent by 2030. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Cliff Taylor: More than 30,000 Irish agrifood jobs at risk when UK leaves EU

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange  in New York City, the US, during this week’s stock market wobble. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Cliff Taylor: The Irish economy is in a sweetspot but it will not last

The Eurostat decision relates to the 14 big players who manage the vast bulk of social housing  stock in the State and build houses for rental.

Analysis: Decision on housing bodies to have limited initial impact on budget

Theresa May: Michel Barnier has warned the PM that “without a customs union and outside the single market, barriers to trade in goods and services are unavoidable”. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty

Cliff Taylor: EU has called the British PM’s bluff on soft Brexit. Something has to give

Cliff Taylor: We will just have to sit tight for a while now and see whether this is a passing squall or a full-scale storm.

Cliff Taylor answers the key questions

An NYSE trader reacts to Friday’s fall.

Stockmarkets hit hard by fears of higher interest rates and inflation

To stop the capital sprawling ever further outwards, Dublin needs to build upwards and become a much more dense city. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Government not only has to come up with a good long-term plan but must sell it to us too

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a European Council meeting in Brussels after phase one of Brexit negotiations concluded. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

The next stage of EU-Britain negotiations will have a lexicon all of its own

François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France, speaking at the symposium on financial globalisation at the Central Bank. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

François Villeroy de Galhau speaking at Central Bank of Ireland event

Philip Lane: if the governor is not chosen this time, more ECB posts are coming up in 2019. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Cliff Taylor: The Central Bank governor is a strong runner, but Ireland may have to wait

Central Bank governor Philip Lane: to be nominated as a candidate for the job of ECB vice-president.

Minister for Finance informs Cabinet of decision to nominate Central Bank governor

Philip Lane, governor of the Central Bank: Mr Lane would also be seen as a strong contender for the job of ECB chief economist. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Front runner for ECB vice-presidency is a Spanish politician

Border argument: the sticking plaster was applied to this circular loop in December. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Cliff Taylor: It is unclear how Theresa May can navigate the next phase of talks

Has Denis had a Morgan Kelly moment when he has spotted something everyone else has missed?

Cliff Taylor: Is the Dublin office market ‘bubble’ ripe for bursting?

The “Trump bump” has been real. And despite all the noise and fury of the Trump administration, volatility on the market has been at its lowest  for years. Photograph: Getty Images

The Dow Jones index of shares has gained almost 33% since Trump’s inauguration

It would be interesting to hear a view from the Central Bank on what the rules mean for the borrower in the long term.

Cliff Taylor: Why aren’t the banks offering terms like this?

Like many other big companies, Apple had pushed the tax  game too far. What might have appeared to be a clever idea to a tax accountant looked like a flagrant playing of the system when it emerged into the light. Photograph: Getty Images

For years US companies have played the tax game, but the rule are now changing

Apple’s  campus in Cupertino, California. The tech company  built up an offshore cash pile of over $250 billion from profits earned offshore over many years, the bulk of them booked through Irish subsidiaries. Photograph: Jim Wilson/New York Times

Tech giant plans to make once-off $38bn tax payment to US for money it is repatriating

As well as signalling the repatriation of a massive overseas cash pile, the iPhone maker has said it will invest $30bn on US expansion. Photograph: Getty

Attention now falls on the tech giant’s appeal of the Commission’s €13bn state aid ruling

Eoghan Murphy: the Minister for Housing has suggested the local property tax might be based not solely on house prices. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Water-charges debate destroyed logical discussion of how to raise essential revenue

A review of the local property tax will focus on keeping bills for households roughly in line with current levels in the years ahead, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, has indicated. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Paschal Donohoe says property tax review will focus on keeping bills at current levels

Beef and dairy products are left exposed by a potential no-deal Brexit – particularly some areas of the beef sector and cheddar cheese.

Ireland should be ready politically and economically for the worst-case scenario

It is understood that, following receipt of the initial assessments or legal, operational and regulatory issues before Christmas, the departments have now been asked for full lists on potential policy responses.   Photograph: Brian O’Leary/

Coveney says all departments are assessing ‘immediate legal or practical consequences’

The ECB looks set to signal in the months ahead that the period of extraordinary stimulus will slowly draw to an end.

Cliff Taylor: tracker mortgage rates will rise in tandem with any ECB rate hikes

The move to globalisation has fractured, with the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote seen in part as a political kickback, reflecting popular disillusionment of the trend to free trade and movement of people. Photograph: Getty Images

His death comes when economic impact of Trump election and Brexit is being grasped

Decimated construction industry: by 2011-13 work started on only 4,000-5,000 new homes a year. Builders went bust or into Nama.  Photograph: Eric Luke

The economic bounceback is benefiting many households but the legacy of the crash is still biting

How far has the economy come from the dark days of 2008? These charts tell the story

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has asked the Central Bank to report to him on culture within the banks. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Cliff Taylor: ‘Best-practice’ buzzwords do not mask Irish banks’ ripping-off of clients

“The younger generation always seem to lose in this housing lottery.” Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

The Central Bank’s lending rules will be crucial to avoiding a repeat of old mistakes

What would be the basic goals of the rainy day fund? To smooth out economic ups and downs? Or would it be a piggy bank only to be smashed open in an emergency?

Ireland’s position remains vulnerable, despite the enormous progress of recent years

  Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  and  Minister for Finance  Paschal Donohoe. They have inherited an economy that continues to perform ahead of expectations. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Strong growth can help tackle challenges of Brexit, tax changes and higher interest rates

Post-truth drove into our lives in the shape of the Brexit bus and its claim that the UK could save £350 million a week through cutting contributions to the EU budget after Brexit. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

From Brexit to Trump’s tax cuts, facts seem less influential than emotional appeals

The Bombardier dispute over its C-series jets illustrates how fractious international trade has become. Photograph: Bloomberg

The world of trade relationships in the Trump era is a harsh one

Taxing times: US president Donald Trump may have delivered a huge Christmas gift to corporate America. Photograph: Reuters

But hastily drawn Bill could yet spawn unintended consequences

Were Apple to drop its appeal, it would pay tax at the 12.5 per cent rate here – providing an unprecedented windfall for the Irish exchequer – and the balance of 3 per cent in the US.

New US tax law means Apple’s offshore cash will be subject to tax either here or in US

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary. “The question now is whether O’Leary can become – or wants to become – the leader of what looks like becoming a more conventional-looking and behaving company.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Capitulation in face of threatened strike a challenge to chief’s buccaneering approach

The latest survey on income and living conditions from the Central Statistics Office shows incomes on average for 2016 of €20,597, returning in real terms to just below 2008 levels. Photograph: Alan Betson

Average incomes return to 2008 levels but significant numbers still struggling

Dublin Port: Ireland’s economic growth is strong and this will have a big impact on the political dynamic heading into 2018. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Big multinationals have messed up our economic data again, but growth is strong

In future all funding for domestic water services will come from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Exchequer finances rearranged so funding of domestic water services can come from State

The importance of the Facebook move is the signal it sends about the direction which one of the world’s biggest players believes the wind is blowing.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Small countries need to take notice when big companies can decide where they pay tax

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage. He is probably right when he tweeted that Britain was now moving on “the next phase of humiliation”. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Ireland has the pitch set up in its favour but the match still has to be played

British prime minister Theresa May is welcomed by EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker  prior to the Brexit meeting in Brussels at which the deal was signed. Photograph: EPA

Cliff Taylor: A soft Brexit may be only way this contradictory deal can hold together

Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin: said he had raised the danger of avoidance schemes emerging with the Minister for Finance

Revenue’s target still looks overambitious, says director of CBRE Ireland

Move follows a recommendation from the Revenue Commissioners, presumably sparked by evidence of people structuring transactions to avoid the new commercial property stamp duty rate which rose to 6 per cent. Photograph:  Joe St Leger

Late change to Finance Bill to combat avoidance of 6% duty on commercial property sales

For the first nine months of this year goods exports to the UK totalled €10.7 billion, compared with just under €1.5 billion to the North. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Corporate leaders notable by absence from debate over UK’s exit from EU

A ‘disappointed’ Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a Brexit press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Just what is in play in the ongoing talks between the EU and Britain?

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a Brexit press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Agreement between EU and Britain ‘not possible today’ as DUP objects

Boris Johnson arriving  for a cabinet meeting at Downing Street   on November 28th. Even he has  shrugged his shoulders on the divorce bill, and said it was time to move on. Photograph:  EPA/Andy Rain

UK has made a big concession on the exit bill, but finding a Border solution will be difficult

As repeated by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Friday’s press conference following his meeting with European Council president Donald Tusk (above), Ireland’s favoured option is for the UK to remain in the UK trading bloc. Photograph: Laura Hutton/PA Wire

Difficulties, potential solutions and limited oportunities to fudge a solution

US President Donald Trump promotes the tax reform plan in Missouri.

Senate move to vote through tax bill means changes could be signed into law this month

  Central Bank  governor Philip Lane:  his cautious approach is   tempered by  a number of factors which threaten   house prices such as Brexit and changes in international tax. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Regulator review says house prices and bank lending are broadly economically sound

London has repeatedly said that the Border issue can only be sorted in the context of the stage two talks on trade, but Dublin fears that the UK will use the Border as a bargaining tool in those negotiations. Photograph:  Paul  Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Cliff Taylor: Ireland and UK now under pressure to agree on the Border

German MEP Rainer Weiland, who said the softer the controls between the UK and Ireland, the stricter the controls might need to be at Schengen borders between Ireland the the EU.

Rainer Weiland said UK cannot be ‘in and out of the single market at the same time’

Border Communities against Brexit signage on the outskirts of Newry in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Why there is no easy answer to conundrum facing Ireland

Minister for Foreign Affairs  Simon Coveney and British foreign secretary  Boris Johnson in Dublin  discussing  Brexit. The job of governing the country enters a strange limbo land during an election.  Photograph:  EPA/Aidan Crawley

Do you want a distracted Taoiseach when Ireland’s vital interests are on the line?

Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond with prime minister Theresa May after he presented his budget statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

New tax could affect some big US players with European headquarters in Ireland

Demonstrators dressed as Britain’s prime minister Theresa May  before taking part in a protest on Whitehall outside the entrance to Downing Street in London before Wednesday’s budget. Photograph: Getty

Brexit growth forecasts and a new tax on technology companies among the more salient measures

For Ireland, the vote on the European Banking Authority’s new home points the way to the kind of complex alliance building necessary in a post-Brexit EU of 27 states. Photograph: Andrew Hall/Riser/Getty Images

Who voted for Dublin? Who spoiled their vote in the final round? Loss of the European Banking Authority contains valuable lessons

Rising rents and property prices are a double whammy for younger age groups and there is a real danger this is going to get worse before it starts to get better. Photograph: Frank Miller

Even with jobs, youth caught in backwash of collapse and recovery with house prices

For Ireland the important thing is to get something signed up to by both the UK and EU which will ensure no return of a ‘hard Border’ no matter what way the Brexit talks end. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images.

Regulatory divergence may not get the heart racing but is a key issue in these talks

“When house prices are rising at 12-13 per cent per annum at the same time as earnings are rising at 2-3 per cent, the dangers are pretty clear.” Photograph: Frank Miller

Nasty property squeeze could become bubble if Central Bank does not keep lid on lending

Affordability data suggests that single buyers in particular face a squeeze in Dublin, with mortgage repayments now often taking well over a third of an average disposable income.  Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Analysis: why do people find it so hard to afford to buy or rent homes?

British pound is now moving back into dangerous territory for Irish exports

Exchequer figures released on Friday show that tax payments in September beat the official target by more than €300 million. Photograph: Frank Miller

Finance Bill change may have resulted from uncovering of specific tax avoidance schemes

An anti Brexit poster in Newry: the Brexit process is a lose-lose nightmare for the Government. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

While we hope for progress in trade and Border talks, the goal is damage limitation

A protocol official  changes the EU and British flags at EU headquarters in Brussels. EU negotiators believe the North will have to remain subject to EU trading rules to avoid the return of a Border on the island of Ireland. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP.

Dublin risks being pushed into corner unless issue is sorted later rather than sooner

Michael Noonan: in the 2015 budget, he ended the double Irish tax scheme and abolished the 80 per cent rule so firms could claim tax relief on up to 100 per cent of profits from their IP investment. Photograph: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

Change in tax treatment of intellectual property and subsequent and reversal hard to fathom

Thumbs up from Donald Trump: the US economy may grow more than 4 per cent  this year. Photograph:  Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Trump – one year on: Given the president has not implemented promised policies, it is clear he inherited a strengthening economy

We have some leverage now on the Border issue. We can’t let is quietly slip down the order of priorities if these talks are to progress as this could potentially leave us exposed to pressure to compromise somewhere down the road

We have heard more than enough nonsense about frictionless and seamless borders

US president Donald Trump shows samples of the proposed new tax form. Tax proposals emanating from Brussels appear to carry much more danger for Ireland.

Cliff Taylor: It is unclear whether latest US tax plan will clear Congress

The Central Bank of Ireland: The bank has been broken up and put back together again over the years.  It is hard to see another divorce achieving much. Photograph: Alan Betson

Splitting the Central Bank up again is not the answer. Changes are needed in regulation and in the bank boardrooms.

President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi speaks to media. Photograph: Armando Babani/EPA

Despite cut to economic stimulus, any rise in the ECB rate is unlikely until 2019 at earliest

Central Bank governor Philip Lane: his institution can make life awkward for the banks. Photograph: Eric Luke

Cliff Taylor: There’s a long way to go as customers affected set to surpass 20,000

Central Bank of Ireland: its governor, Philip Lane, says banks were interpreting contracts to their own advantage. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cliff Taylor: Where moral suasion fails, use fitness and probity powers

The Finance Bill provides for legislative changes to introduce new processes for employers and the Revenue, under a PAYE modernisation programme.

Workers to get full entitlements faster as allowances and credits updated in real time

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: He can harangue the banks. But will he give the Central Bank new powers? Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cliff Taylor: Quiet acceptance emerged that customers could be charged a bit extra

“Nobody had the slightest idea that ECB rates were going to collapse from 4.25 per cent in summer 2008 to just 1 per cent the following April. Trackers moved from being expensive for the borrower to become a crippling cost on lenders.” Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Scrapping of trackers in 2008 used to justify refusal to offer them to existing borrowers

The Finance Bill will include the extension of an existing tax relief to cover most transactions taking place within families. Photograph: Getty Images

Special 1% rate applies to transfer of land within families, with age restriction abolished

There was fury in London at a sentence in the OECD document which said that if the Brexit decision was reversed, “the positive impact on growth would be significant.”

Intervention puts stark numbers on what a hard Brexit could mean - which in turn underlines the threat to Ireland’s growth prospec(...)

Hurricane winds collapsed a stand at Turners Cross, Cork city during Storm Ophelia. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Cork begins to assess damage as red warning remains in operation throughout the country

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: promised in his budget speech to “do this differently” in future. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Paschal Donohoe risks finding boom and bust a hard habit to break

Prof Tim Callan of the  the ESRI found bigger adjustments to the tax system would have been needed to ensure  expected wage inflation did not eat into the value of wage increases. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Institute finds expected wage rises not factored in

The failure to index the tax system fully for wage inflation means a bit more of any wage increase will go in tax. Photograph: iStock

Wage rises mean burden won’t fall for many despite budget measures

Apple is amongst the multinationals believed to have moved intellectual property to Ireland over the past couple of years. Such moves were a key factor behind the huge jump in Irish GDP in 2015.

Move will raise more money in the short term from multinational sector in Ireland

Gains of €5 a week for single middle income taxpayers – or €10 a week for double income couples – are not going to add noticeably to spending in the economy next year.

Analysis: Government left hoping that threat of Brexit does not upset the sums

While the gains and losses from income tax and USC changes on one side versus excise and other hikes on the other will depend on individual habits, the net gains for people’s incomes will be limited.

How to work out the impact for you as the Budget is announced

Contacts are believed to have been made with the major companies over the change to the regime. Photograph: iStock

Move on multinational tax arrangements expected to be announced in the Budget

 Raising new money will allow some things to be done. A way will be found to put say €6 to €8 extra a week in people’s pockets from tax cuts

Brexit has complicated the search for revenue, but there will be enough for some key tax and spending changes

Figures showing the massive contribution of a few companies to the Irish exchequer are eliciting envious glances elsewhere in Europe

Tensions flare between Brussels and Dublin as the European Commission turns up the heat

Irish beef: Ireland’s food sector could have to compete on equal terms with big players like Argentina and New Zealand. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Cliff Taylor: The details will be hugely important for Irish businesses

Michael O’Leary “has a few months – but no longer – to sort out the extraordinary mess that has hit Ryanair”. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Ryanair faces a crucial few months as it fights to sort its pilot problems

Cliff Taylor: However as the only English-speaking country in the EU post-Brexit, with a large number of established American companies, we still have a strong enough hand to play.

Cliff Taylor: Trump’s proposal of a 20% rate could slow the amount of overseas investment

Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar who said on Monday he would try and resist any sharp increased in property tax rates. Photograph: Getty

Analysis: Taoiseach doesn’t need to battle for homeowners. He can just decide, if Dáil agrees

The property tax is only 1 per cent of tax revenue. The economic argument would be to let it drift up over the years and use the cash to cut income tax, or fund key projects. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The balance of opinion in some councils is that there may be more votes in better services

The Independents, including John Halligan, claimed a great victory when Government agreed to a review of corporation tax. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The changing mood towards the State’s tax regime presents opportunities and dangers

Paschal Donohoe: looks set to reimpose the cap on tax write-downs companies can claim relating to intellectual property assets. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Paschal Donohoe must resist calls from some of the Ireland Inc lobby to slow reform

The European Union flag flies outside the European Commission building in Brussels: in a landmark decision the commission found that Apple owed the Irish Government over €13bn plus interest for unpaid tax. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Looming new corporate tax proposals open up another battlefront for Ireland

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