What Thursday's papers say

Bid to tackle uninsured drivers; McCabe lawyers' O'Sullivan call; Hammond hits self-employed

9th March, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times quotes Minister of State for Financial Services Eoghan Murphy as saying that Gardaí will be able to catch uninsured drivers by using automatic number plate roadside checks from the end of September. The new system will be extended later and will see insurance companies share data on insured drivers with Gardaí. The database is one of the key recommendations of a working group report on the cost of insurance published in January.

- The paper reports that the Oireachtas committee on water is to recommend that a referendum be held to enshrine public ownership of Irish Water in the Constitution.

- In business, Eoghan Murphy has also told the Irish Times that a number of international financial services companies have told the Government they plan to relocate activities to Ireland from London because of Brexit but have yet to make their plans public. AIG yesterday decided to move some activities to Luxembourg instead of Dublin.

- The paper says bookseller Eason is to invest about €7m in store revamps and digital initiatives over the next three years. The company has also started a review of its supply chain which may lead to outsourcing of some or all of the activities at its warehouse near Dublin Airport.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times leads with yesterday's British budget, saying chancellor Philip Hammond ripped up a Conservative Party manifesto promise and hit 2.5 million self-employed people with a rise in National Insurance contributions as he announced a fiscally tight budget in an effort to Brexit-proof the British economy.

- The FT says banks are being squeezed harder than expected by the British government, with taxes targeting the sector set to raise £2.1 billion more than initially forecast over six years, according to figures published alongside the budget yesterday.

- The paper says Japan's SoftBank is to sell a roughly $8 billion stake in chip designer ARM, placing 25 per cent of Britain's largest technology company into a new Saudi-backed $100 billion investment fund.

- The FT reports on a survey from American for Financial Reform which shows that Wall Street spent a record $2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions during the last US election cycle, as big banks, hedge funds and other institutions stepped up efforts to reshape rules to their advantage.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent says Taoiseach Enda Kenny could find himself at the centre of an EU bust-up today as a row rages over Donald Tusk's presidency of the European Council. Kenny has been tipped as a potential compromise candidate to replace Tusk, whose re-election is being opposed by the government of his native Poland.

- The paper says school-leavers are showing strong faith in economic recovery, with a bounce in CAO demand this year for courses in business, construction and traditional professions such as law and architecture.

- In business, the Irish Independent reports on comments from the National Treasury Management Agency, which told TDs yesterday that the state must refinance €52 billion in debt by 2020 - more than the entire national debt before the financial crash. Conor O'Kelly of the NTMA said the interest bill on the debt was falling, but the country remained highly indebted and vulnerable.

- The paper says Permanent TSB chief Jeremy Masding has refused to rule out repossessing the homes of mortgage defaulters and warned that a pay-out to taxpayers would be delayed if the bank failed to agree a solution to its bad loans problem with the Government.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner says the extent to which a "clique of HSE managers" conspired to cover up the Grace foster abuse scandal will be investigated in the commission of inquiry after the Government was forced to change the terms of reference.

- The paper says lawyers acting for Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe have written to the Minister for Justice demanding that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan be removed from her post for the duration of the Disclosure Tribunal.

- The Examiner quotes Financial Services Minister Eoghan Murphy as saying that there is room for the Law Society and small businesses to work together to identify the costs of public liability claims. He said work was now underway on this issue after the publication of a report on motor insurance costs in January.

- The paper reports on comments from the chief economist of Northern Trust, Carl Tannenbaum, who told the Limerick Chamber of Commerce that the likelihood of the US's passing a border tax was low, as it violates world trade rules.

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