Saturday February 22, 2020

What Friday's papers say

Surge in school special needs costs; May tries to calm 'cliff-edge' fears; Cork gas terminal plan

21st July, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times reports on a government analysis which shows that a sharp increase in the number of school pupils diagnosed with special needs since 2011 is among the factors which has led to a huge jump in the budget for special needs education, prompting alarm in government about the rising costs.

- The paper says almost 1,000 new homes are planned for south Dublin in the first housing scheme to use a fast-track development system which bypasses the local authority planning process. The homes are planned for Clay Farm, Ballyogan, by developer Michael Cotter's Viscount Securities.

- In business, the Irish Times reports that an inquiry into the actions of five former Irish Nationwide Building Society directors and senior staff in the lead-up to the financial crisis has heard that key documents being sought by one-time society chairman Michael Walsh will not be ready until the middle of September.

- The paper says Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has played down the prospect of abolishing the special 9 per cent VAT rate for the hospitality industry, citing concerns over Brexit.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times says British prime minister Theresa May has told a new Downing Street business council that she will not let companies fall over a Brexit "cliff edge", amid warnings that jobs could haemorrhage from the City of London unless she delivers clarity on her exit strategy soon.

- The FT says the euro rose to its highest level in nearly two years yesterday despite efforts by ECB president Marion Draghi to convince investors he was in no rush to rein in the bank's €60 billion a month stimulus programme.

- The paper says Frankfurt's attempt to become the EU's leading post-Brexit financial centre received another lift yesterday as details emerged of Deutsche Bank and Citigroup's plans to beef up their operations in the German financial capital.

- The FT reports on two separate surveys which find that British employers are illegally underpaying a significant number of young people for apprenticeships and internships.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent also reports on the rising costs of supporting children with special needs, saying there has been an increase of more than 80 per cent in the number of children with autism who have a special needs assistant over the past five years.

- The paper says insurance companies paid out more money last year to motorists injured in accidents who made claims through the state's Injuries Board, despite a slight fall in the number of claims.

- In business, the Irish Independent says port authorities in Cork have signed a deal aimed at developing a new terminal to land gas from ships with Texas-based NextDecade, a liquid natural gas company.

- The paper says AIB has reduced its cornerstone investment in the €270m Greencoat Renewables flotation by €10m after investors piled into the deal, lured by its strong yield amid persistently low interest rates. Greencoat will debut in Dublin and London next Wednesday.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner says the government is under fire from Fianna Fáil for signalling that the €187m to be spent on water refunds will come from savings across departments, leading to questions about whether other areas such as health will lose out.

- The paper also reports on the plan involving the Port of Cork and NextDecade, which it says will secure the future of the country's power supply for many decades to come.

- The Examiner says a report from the Irish Hospital Consultants Association paints a bleak picture of the health service, warning that overstretched acute hospitals are attempting to treat patients with equipment that is increasingly obsolete.

- In business, the paper reports that the firm behind the Limerick Tunnel, which is backed by guaranteed payments from the government, has posted a pre-tax loss of €6.4m. The loss was due in large part to a non-cash depreciation cost, as operating profits climbed 38 per cent.

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