Opening Bell: EU ruling could mean higher insurance costs, worker abuse claims in Qatar, UK confidence takes a hit

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

A European court ruling could mean higher prices for Irish home and motor insurance customers.

The European Court of Justice ruled that a Polish company that outsourced work to claim handlers is not exempt from VAT.

This leaves insurance companies facing additional charges of up to 23% on work that they outsource to carry out tasks such as managing claims and other back-office functions. 

Industry sources have confirmed to The Irish Times that most Irish insurance providers outsource work.

A statement from Revenue said it is "currently considering the judgment and its possible implications for Irish VAT law."


Amnesty International is accusing Qatar of abusing migrants building its World Cup stadia.

The human rights watchdog says the mainly Asian workers, were "lied to over salaries, went unpaid for months and were housed in squalid accommodation."

Workers were also prevented from returning home to help their families after a major earthquake in Nepal last year.

Qatar's poor human rights record has led to calls for the country to be stripped of the event.


Dublin-based airlines Stobart Air (previously Aer Arann) and CityJet are exploring the possability of joining foces to create one of Europe's largest regional airlines according to the Irish Independent.

The deal depends on the outcome of the sale of Stobart Air. It operates the Aer Lingus Regional service and is currently on the market and likely to fetch between €60m and €65m.

The newspaper reports that it understands that Stobart Air management, led by chief executive Sean Brogan have tabled a bid to buy the airline.


Consumer confidence has taken a hit in the UK as June's Brexit referendum approaches.

The GfK confidence index remained at zero this month, the same reading as February, but down four points on last year.

However, more people are worrying about the health of the British economy over the next 12 months ago - that measure is down by 18 points to -12.

Joe Straton, a market analyst at GfK said that the readings indicated "Brexit jitters."

He added that while consumers are worried about the economy, they feel more positive about their personal financial situations.