Saturday 24 February 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

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

Irish Independent:

***Middle-income earners will pay less than 50pc tax on their salaries for the first time in six years, the Irish Independent can reveal.

Every euro earned above €33,800 is currently hit with the marginal tax rate of 51c.

With just over a week to go to the last Budget before the General Election, the Government will lower the total tax rate to at least 49.5pc – and possibly 49pc.

***Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary will take a leading role in the campaign to keep Britain in the EU.

Despite being an outspoken critic of Brussels in the past, Mr O’Leary said all businesses should take part in the campaign.

“I think it’s absolutely vital, not just for the continuation of Ireland’s economic success, but also for the continuation of the UK recovery and the UK economic success, that the UK stays a member of the European Union,” he said.

***The incoming chairman of Volkswagen (VW) sees the scandal around the rigging of emissions tests as a threat to the firm’s viability, according to a German newspaper.

At an internal company meeting this week at the VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Hans Dieter Poetsch described the situation as an “existence-threatening crisis for the company”, Welt am Sonntag reported.

Mr Poetsch also said that he believed VW could overcome the crisis, the newspaper said.

Irish Times:

***Cerberus, the US company that bought Nama’s Northern Ireland portfolio for €1.6bn, could make a profit of several hundred millions euros on the deal, the Irish Times reports.

The company’s purchase of the loan book has been mired in controversy, with claims that a number of Northern Irish business and political figures were to receive payments as part of the deal. Cerberus has denied connections to any wrongdoings.

The newspaper reports that figures it recently provided to a Northern Ireland committee implied that it is expecting to make a profit of about £200m on the sale, however the Irish Times reports that it could be much higher than this, ultimately generating returns of up to £500m.

***A plan for overhauling the taxation of multinationals, to be published today in Paris, could pose major challenges for Ireland’s foreign direct investment sector, it has been claimed.

The report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is the first attempt in a century to try and design a template for global taxation.

Commissioned by the G20 in 2013, the Base Erosion and Profit-Shifting project aims to create a global template to better align where companies pay tax.

***Ireland’s credit unions are looking at ways to position themselves as a “third force” to the country’s pillar banks.

The Irish League of Credit Unions has appointed a management consultant to complete a review of the movement and present it at the association’s next AGM in April.

The Irish Times reports that its new structure could be similar to those of co-op banks across Europe such as Rabobank in the Netherlands, which is made up of 123 local-member Rabobanks.

Irish Examiner:

***The Small Firms Association has submitted a list of measures that it wants to see implemented by the Government to help create the next 100,000 jobs across the country.

Among suggestions that feature are measures to help entrepreneurs and startups and the introduction of a childcare tax credit.

The organisation called on policymakers not to be lulled into a false sense of security due to falling unemployment figures and called for the implementation of its suggestions to help boost small businesses.

***Policy makers who attend the IMF’s annual meeting in Lima this week are set to focus on China’s recent economic difficulties and its impact on the rest of the world.

Activity in China’s manufacturing sector contracted in September, leading to fears that the economy there could be cooling more rapidly than it had been even a few months ago.

IMF delegates are set to seek reassurances from China that it can smooth, or even halt, its economic decline.

***Greece must quickly complete its bailout programme to achieve its aims of regaining access to market finance and escaping international supervision, according to its Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Speaking on the day that his new parliament was sworn in, Mr Tsipras said that he aimed to complete the first review of the country’s €86bn bailout package as soon as possible so that the country can look to begin negotiations on debt relief.

“Implementing the bailout is not going to be easy. But we are obliged to make these decisions although we don’t like them,” Tsipras said.

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