Opening Bell: Ibec battles "excessive" personal injury payouts, farmers want tax help, EU deemed "unsustainable"

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news

Ibec has warned that the cost of insurance will continue to rise if “excessive” personal injury payouts are not tackled.

The business and employers group has called for an end to “litigation culture” and a reduction in the amounts awarded.

It says that some insurance companies are afraid to challenge compensation claims due to the cost of legal fees.

Ibec is also appealing to the courts system to follow the awarding system set out by the Personal Injuries Board.

______________________________________________________

The Irish Farmers Association wants the Government to give farmers more time to pay their tax bills.

The group’s Budget submission for next year is published later today and calls for the funding of schemes to help farming communities following the UK's Brexit vote.

The IFA says farmers' incomes is its top priority, in a year which has seen dairy farmers' earnings affected by the abolition of milk quotas.

To help farmers, it suggests they are given three years to pay whatever extra tax they owe.

______________________________________________________

Irish food group Greencore has bought UK business The Sandwich Factory for £15 million.

The acquisition is just one of nearly 60 deals which have seen overseas investors buy UK firms to take advantage of the weakened sterling since the Brexit vote.

Greencore, which is headed up by the brother of Housing Minister Simon Coveney, is aiming to extend its presence in the growing food-to-go industry.

The Warwickshire-based Sandwich Factory took £42m in revenue last year.

Chief executive Patrick Coveney said the deal made "strong strategic sense".

______________________________________________________

The European Union is unsustainable in its current form, according to a global ratings agency.

Standard & Poor’s has warned that the result of the Brexit referendum has “dramatically raised” uncertainty about the future of the EU.

The agency suggests a new, post-Brexit EU needs to either be looser, with all member states having more independence, or stronger, with the EU taking more control of decision-making.

It’s called for a “constitutional convention” to plan for the future and recommends the UK delay triggering Article 50 to take part.