Tuesday 19 November 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

Irish Independent

***Aer Lingus could cut at least £10m (€13m) from ticket costs overnight after Heathrow Airport revealed plans to slash its passenger charges.

Heathrow has unveiled proposals to slash fees for passengers travelling in and out of the world’s third biggest airport. It plans to cut charges by £5 for European passengers and £10 for domestic passengers. This will cut the cost it levies on people flying between Ireland and Heathrow to £24.59 (€33).

The move should immediately lower costs for the two million passengers Aer Lingus flies in and out of Heathrow every year, provided it passes the savings on.

***Mortgage holders left out of pocket by a major AIB blunder will now be paid back in full after the bank reversed its decision to reimburse customers over the course of a year.

The State-owned bank backtracked on its initial response after some 1,600 customers lost out on mortgage interest tax relief last month. AIB has now said it will pay back customers “as soon as possible”.

However, the bank has been accused of only taking action in the wake of bad publicity. Mortgage expert Karl Deeter said: “They are announcing now what they should have done in the first place.

***Irish company Big Mountain Productions is creating a new series on the Wild Atlantic Way for ITV, aimed at showcasing Ireland’s tourism highlights, and fronted by TV star Christine Bleakley.

The show, ‘Wild Ireland’, is targeted at British viewers. Big Mountain expects it to reach up to 15 million people over its six-week run.

Bleakley will explore the highlights of the world’s longest continuous coastal route by driving, cycling, hiking, swimming and kayaking her way from Malin Head in Co Donegal to Mizen Head in Co Cork. The six 30-minute episodes will air on UTV Ireland as well as on ITV in Britain.

Irish Times

***Unions are set to make strong calls for the restoration of public sector pay and working conditions to pre-crash levels, the Irish Times reports.

Talks are set to get underway next month and conclude with time to implement any changes into October’s budget.

The paper reports that any pay savings are unlikely to be felt in people’s pockets until January, and that the Government is likely to be reluctant to reduce increased productivity measures introduced in the 2013 Haddington Road agreement such as increased working hours.

***The controversial veto that banks may impose on impose on personal insolvency applications may soon be watered down, the Irish Times reports.

According to the paper, the Economic Management Council, made up of Enda Kenny, Joan Burton, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin, are lobbying the Department of Justice to overhaul the manner in which insolvency cases are dealt with.

It adds that banks who oppose “sensible” deals from being reached could see their veto, introduced almost two years ago when the new insolvency service was established, severely weakened.

***Measures to ensure urban homeowners are not hit with spiralling property tax bills are unlikely to be finalised until later in the year.

Tanaiste Joan Burton has become the latest Government minister to signal that the Coalition will introduce measures to curb a possible steep rise in property tax in line with rising house prices.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has told TDs that he will move on the issue ahead of next year’s general election.

Irish Examiner

***A leading developer has said that Cork should look to extend its city boundaries and position itself as a major metropolitan hub, the Irish Examiner reports.

Owen O’Callaghan is the managing director of O’Callaghan Properties, one  of three companies planning €500m worth of investment in the city which has the potential to create 10,000 office jobs in the coming years.

The Government-appointed Smiddy Group is currently reviewing Cork’s local government and boundaries, which the paper reports Mr O’Callaghan is in favour of.

***The country’s two main pillar banks, AIB and Bank of Ireland, have been accused of “ripping off” variable mortgage rate customers.

Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath said that the two banks, which both recently reported annual profits for the first time since the financial crash, have built their recoveries on the backs of variable rate customers.

He said: “In its most recent annual report, Bank of Ireland clearly states that its profitability is being driven by ‘substantial progress on re-pricing loans.’ This is banker speak for ripping off variable rate customers.”

***A contract to supply gardaí and prison officers with their  distinctive uniforms helped push gross profit at a Monaghan firm to nearly €4m.

Figures recently lodged by James Boylan Safety (JBS) show the firm’s pre-tax profits jumped by €124,433 and its gross profit increased from €3.42m to €3.81m in its 2013.

Established in 1944 as a shoe manufacturer, the JBS Group is one of Ireland’s biggest suppliers of uniforms and safety clothing. It supplies both the public and private sector.

Online Editors

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