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What’s in today’s Budget?

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Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath delivered a €4.7bn package for Budget 2022. What can we expect?

* An increase in the national minimum wage by 30 cent to €10.50 per hour
* A 50c increase for a packet of cigarettes
* Free GP care for children aged six and seven
* €5 increase in the weekly rate of Fuel Allowance
* €5 increase in weekly social welfare payments
* €5 increase in weekly payments for pensioners
* Living Alone Allowance to be increased by €3
* The reduced VAT rate of 9 percent for the hospitality sector will remain in place to the end of August 2022
* Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) to remain in place in a graduated form until April 30, 2022
* Income tax deduction amounting to 30 percent of the cost of vouched expenses for heat, electricity and broadband for remote workers
* Recruitment of up to 800 new trainee Gardaí and 400 Garda staff, 1,165 additional SNAs

"We are now entering a new phase where we will recover from the pandemic, restore our public services and living standards, repair our public finances," Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD, said during his speech.

"Public spending next year will amount to €87.6 billion – the Government has been steadfast in its commitment to keeping this amount below the ceiling laid out in the Summer Economic Statement. Our medium-term strategy sets out that over the next two budgets we will: restore our public services, phase out temporary COVID-related spending, and repair our public finances."

Key Points

Health

* free GP care for children aged six and seven
* threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme lowered to €100
* €250 million to tackle hospital waiting lists
* free contraception for women aged 17-25
* €30 million to allow patients greater access to high-tech drugs
* expanding dental access to medical card patients

Social

* National Childcare Scheme universal subsidy extended to all children aged up to 15
* €5 increase in weekly social welfare payments
* €5 increase in weekly payments for pensioners
* Living Alone Allowance to be increased by €3
* Fuel Allowance increased by €5
* Parent's Benefit increased by 2 weeks to 7 weeks from July 2022
* introduction of a Youth Travel Card for those aged 19-23

Housing

* 11,820 new social homes will be delivered through build, acquisition and leasing programmes. 9,000 of these will be new build homes
* €18 million for the delivery of Traveller accommodation
* 11,000 grants to adapt the homes of older people and people with a disability
* 14,800 new households to have their housing needs met under the Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Scheme, in addition to supporting almost 82,000 existing tenancies under these schemes

Education and Training

* 1,165 additional SNAs, bringing the total number of SNAs to almost 19,200
* an additional 350 teachers to reduce school staffing schedules by 1 point for all primary schools
* 7,600 places in Further Education and Training courses in key skills areas of the economy
* 980 additional special education teachers working in special classes, special schools and mainstream settings to support children with special educational needs
* off-the-job training places for 7,000 craft apprentices impacted by COVID-19
* a €200 increase in the maintenance grant payment in the Student Support Scheme
* recruitment of up to 800 new trainee Gardaí and 400 Garda staff

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“I’m not fit enough”

How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it? Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”. Break free from this limiting belief If you think you are not […]

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How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it?

Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”.

Break free from this limiting belief
If you think you are not fit enough then you never will be, and let’s face it, you’ll never know if you’re fit enough to do something unless you do it! You can achieve so much, much more if you have the right mindset, and that this is a mental hurdle to overcome, not a physical one.
Everyone must start somewhere, and that can be as simple as aiming to sit a little less and move a bit more.
More gentle exercises that don’t require too much skill such as walking, and housework can help start you off slowly and build up gradually. You will still be making progress, physically and mentally, and will enjoy it more. A common mistake is trying to achieve too much, too soon. If exercising feels too hard, you will be put off.

Visualise success
Visualisation is an athletic tool that has been used for decades. By closing your eyes and imagining what it would look and feel like to achieve a goal or to complete an exercise, we can prepare ourselves physically and psychologically for the task at hand.

Certified fitness instructors add to the cost of your workout, but they can also add a lot of value. An expert can design a program based on your goals, show you how to use equipment, and provide tips on nutrition.

Log your workouts by recording distances, weights, and other objective milestones in your fitness journey, you will be able to see progress on paper. That record can come in handy when you are feeling uninspired or lethargic

Don’t over-promise. Having goals, even lofty ones, is key to anything you want to achieve in life. Make sure the bar is reachable—even if it means aiming for just 15 minutes on a bike—so you are not overwhelmed. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins along the way!

Research on the placebo effect has focused on the relationship of mind and body. One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is due to a person’s expectations. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it is possible that the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused.

For instance, in one study, people were given a placebo and told it was a stimulant. After taking the pill, their pulse rate sped up, their blood pressure increased, and their reaction speeds improved. When people were given the same pill and told it was to help them get to sleep, they experienced the opposite effects.

Meaning when you believe something, it can and will happen. That is the power of strong mentality.
If you keep thinking you are “not fit enough” then you will believe it, but if you start to change your way of thinking and change your mindset to “get fit”, you have made a huge step in the right direction. Take small steps to start new habits no matter how small they may be, and you will start to see some remarkable results.
If you would like help with any of your health and fitness goals please contact us at www.activate.ie

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Lack of street lights a concern

By Sean Moriarty Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue. Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel. “The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue.

Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel.

“The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger to pedestrians crossing the road, particularly between Woodlawn Cross, and what was formerly the Whitegates Hotel,” he told a recent meeting of Killarney Municipal District.
The council said that the area was subject to a recent upgrade and that additional lighting would not be installed along this section of road on top of the 19 LED lights already placed there.”
“The lighting was installed, commissioned, light levels checked and provides adequate illumination to meet the relevant lighting design standards,” a council spokesperson told the meeting.
Mr O’Donoghue also called for a new street light to be placed on the junction where the L.3015 meets the slip road by Glenflesk National School: “to facilitate the safe passage of school children walking home during the Winter months.”
Kerry County Council reviewed the request but said: “This proposal would not comply with Kerry County Council’s Public Lighting Policy.”

COMMENT BY KILLARNEY ADVERTISER

While this Killarney Municipal District meeting took place hours before the horrific murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, it drives home the importance that all our citizens are entitled to feel safe in their locality. The addition of a few extra street lights in the areas mentioned is not too much to ask.

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