Opening Bell: Abandoning austerity, avoiding a trade war, claiming Apple's taxes

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IBEC has warned that it believes policy changes are needed to help Ireland's economic recovery to spread beyond Dublin.

"Government planning needs to address the growing imbalance between our cities and regions, as well as ensuring connectivity across all parts of the country. It makes economic sense to invest wisely now in the regions to allow businesses to create more jobs locally. Ireland needs an effective counter-balance to the Dublin economy," Fergal O' Brien, Ibec's Director of Policy and Public Affairs, stated.

He added that greater investment in infrastructure is needed to continue to attract foreign firms:

"If we want to continue to attract FDI clients to our shores, Government must break away from the austerity mind set and ramp up spending on public infrastructure - it makes no sense to pursue a debt reduction strategy of 45% of GDP which is well below our EU requirements of 60%.

"This continued austerity could only be achieved by sacrificing much needed public investment."

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China is expected to offer trade reforms to the US which will give it greater access to its financial sector and to allow US beef to be imported into the country.

The Financial Times reports that Chinese and US officials said that these concessions are in the pipeline as China hopes to avoid a trade war.

US President Trump met Chinese leader Xi Jinping last week - they are reported to have set a 100-day deadline to introduce trade policy changes.

The mooted reforms in financial trading were being worked on during the final stages of Barrack Obama's presidency.

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Michael Noonan says that no other nation has made a claim on any portion of the back taxes owed by Apple following the EU's ruling that it was given a 'sweetheart' deal in Ireland.

The company will owe some €13bn in unpaid taxes if appeals against the finding are unsuccessful.

Following the decision that European Commission indicated that some of this tax could be owed to other EU states where the company also carried out operations.

"I can say that I have not been given any official indications from any country that they intend to seek further tax for their own country as a result of the commission's decision," the Minister for Finance said in response to a parliamentary question from independant TD, Tommy Broughan.

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A new survey shows that Spain is still the most popular destination for Irish holiday makers.

It's topped an AA poll for the second year in a row, with one in five of us planning to go there during this summer.

Those not on the plane to Spain are most likely to go to the US, Portugal, France or Italy, while 15% of us want a 'staycation' in Ireland.

Among the 7,000 people questioned by researchers, going abroad proved most popular with the under 25s.