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Activity in the services sector accelerated to hit a 14-month high in April as the country began a gradual loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, a survey showed today. The Government last week said it would press ahead with plans to reopen all retail stores, personal services and non-residential construction in May. Hotels, restaurants and bars will…

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Discussions on how to stop financial investment companies buying large sections of housing estates are likely to continue across Government departments today. Taoiseach Micheál Martin has pledged that the Government will immediately deal with what he termed the “unacceptable” situation where first-time buyers are being forced to compete with institutional investors for homes. The shortage…

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The Exchequer recorded a deficit of €7.6bn in April, up from €7.5bn at the same time last year. The deterioration is down to increases in current expenditure. Despite this, tax receipts in the month were 8% higher than expected, driven mainly by higher levels of income tax. Taxes overall were 20.3% or €519m higher than…

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The Government’s proposed new housing legislation will include a plan to cap the price of affordable housing using seven different rates across the country. This will apply to the shared equity scheme where the State would take a stake of up to 30% in a home to keep the price affordable. The first-time buyer would…

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The number of people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment has dipped below 400,000 for the first time this year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Social Protection. 385,211 recipients will receive the payment this week, at a cost of €114.1 million. The total cost of the scheme launched on 16 March 2020…

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€5m is to be made available to help businesses upgrade their websites to boost opportunities in online retail. The latest round of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is open to applications from today. The scheme, which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, is targeted at Irish-based retailers with a physical store and a pre-existing online…

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Conditions in manufacturing improved vastly in the month of April bringing AIB’s monthly measure of activity in the sector to a record high. The Purchasing Managers’ Index – or PMI – is a composite, single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases. Activity…

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Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath has said Covid-related supports for businesses and individuals beyond June will be laid out by Government by the end of this month. He said the Government will give careful consideration to Covid-19 supports provided, and reiterated there will not be any cliff edge for people or their…

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Business groups have largely welcomed the latest Government plan for the reopening of the economy, which will see sectors reopen on a phased basis from 10 May. On that date, hairdressers will reopen. The Irish Hairdressers Federation welcomed the news, saying their focus is now on reopening the sector safely and responsibly on 10 May.…

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