Varadkar to meet banks in row over interest on mortgage payment breaks

Seen & Heard: Tech giants hit with remote working tax implications; DAA wages threat

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is to meet the banks' chief executives this week amid an escalating row over the charging of interest to mortgage customers who have availed of Covid-19 payment breaks, the Business Post has learned.

Varadkar's meeting with the chiefs this week also comes as Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty called on him to correct the record of the Dáil, after Varadkar suggested bank bosses did not previously tell him that they were prevented from waiving interest during such breaks.

Borrowers seek extension to mortgage payment break
On a related topic, about 60 per cent of the 72,000 households on a Covid-19 mortgage payment break have asked their lender to extend the payment holiday for another three months, according to preliminary figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, the Sunday Times reports.

The data, supplied to the federation by the main retail banks, indicates that many borrowers are still struggling from the effects of the pandemic crisis and will need extra time before resuming their mortgage payments.


Central Bank and market-sensitive data
Companies listed on the Irish stock market and their stockbrokers are under scrutiny from the Central Bank of Ireland over how promptly they release price-sensitive inside information, including the impact of the coronavirus crisis on their businesses, the Sunday Times reports.

Questionnaires were sent last month to a number of companies listed on Euronext Dublin as a preliminary step in a wider investigation by the Central Bank into whether market-sensitive information is being shared with the market in a timely manner.

Tax issues of remote working for multinationals
Tech giants based in Ireland whose foreign employees repatriated to work remotely when the Covid-19 pandemic hit are now exposed, along with their employees, to significant tax, immigration and social security implications, according to a report in the Sunday Independent. A tax adviser with global audit firm EY said it was dealing with increasing numbers of multinational and other clients facing complications because staff had left the State to base themselves in overseas jurisdictions.

DAA has lost more than €100m during pandemic
State-owned airport operator DAA has lost more than €100 million since the beginning of the pandemic, and staff wages cannot be guaranteed at current levels past the end of the month, chief executive Dalton Philips told staff in a video update, as reported in the Sunday Independent. He warned that negotiations with unions on work practices were taking too long to conclude.

National Broadband Plan costs
Eamon Ryan's new department is planning to require all new homes to cover the cost of a connection to the National Broadband Plan as part of their planning conditions, according to the Business Post. The new Minister for Communication Networks criticised the National Broadband Plan while a member of the opposition last year, and said it offered rural dwellers a much better deal than for those living in Dublin.