The next cost headache for small business owners, including farmers, will be the cost of bank loans. Interest rates are rising and both the Federal Reserve in the US and the Bank of England announced increases in official rates last week.

In Ireland, mortgage rates have begun to creep up and so have interest rates on Government borrowing. A hike in retail rates on ordinary bank loans is next. The war in Ukraine has deflected media and political attention from these developments, which would have attracted lots of airtime in more normal circumstances.