Government finally admits housing targets ‘significantly below’ demand

Seen and heard: housing targets, succession crisis looms at Irish family firms and spiking water bills

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has been warned by his officials in private documents that the Government’s housing targets of 33,000 homes are “significantly below” the actual requirement of 50,000 homes per year.

According to an internal memo, obtained by the Sunday Business Post, officials have issued a big warning that the State is now “heavily involved in subsidising, building and procuring apartment developments”.

Documents released under freedom of information laws show that officials also warned that the State’s heavy subsidy of apartment construction demonstrated a “critical need” for long-term institutional investment.

Targets included in the Government’s Housing for All strategy are completely inadequate to meet demand for housing, officials have said.


“The official completions target of 33,000 units per annum is significantly below the actual need. We estimate that to be closer to 50,000 and recent reports suggest that the official target will be changed to around that level,” the January 2024 memo to Minister McGrath stated.

State aid bill for Ukraine reaches €2.55 billion

Ireland has spent at least €2.55 billion on assistance for Ukraine since the Russian invasion two years ago.

Figures released to The Sunday Times last week from the Department of ­Equality reveal a total of €2.25 billion has been paid to accommodation providers and contractors since February 2022, with the highest spend last year of almost €1.5 billion.

So far this year, the Government has spent €238 million on accommodation providers, with more than €515 million spent in 2022.

Alongside our domestic spend, Ireland agreed to contribute a further €120 million to the European Peace Facility Fund, after each of the 27 EU countries agreed to provide Ukraine with €5 billion.

Succession crisis looms at Irish family firms

A swathe of Ireland’s most successful family businesses will face significantly higher tax bills when they go to pass control to the next generation, according to accountants Grant Thornton, the Sunday Independent reports.

These bills will open the door for private equity firms looking to snap up Irish companies, as the higher upfront cost of keeping businesses in the family will encourage more owners to simply sell up.

Fury as thousands of businesses face big spikes in water bills

Big pharma and manufacturing companies face a doubling of their water bills in October as part of controversial plans that have prompted criticism from the IDA, according to the Sunday Business Post.

Uisce Éireann is at loggerheads with its regulator over the proposal, as part of which it also wants to abolish caps on companies’ water bills within three years.

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities is proposing a series of cost increases that will mean some larger companies’ bills will increase by 100 per cent from October. IDA Ireland has argued the approach may damage the country’s ability to win foreign investment.