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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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Taking care of your skin at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning and exfoliating your face, neck and décolleté.

Serums, eye creams and moisturisers: Moisturising provides a protective layer to the skin that locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated. This hydration is what gives your skin a smooth and luminous appearance. This is the step in your skincare routine you don’t want to skip. We always apply the serum closest to the skin as it’s water based and needs to be absorbed on the deepest layer of the skin; the basal layer which is the active layer. It’s where the collagen and elastin start to grow and move up towards the surface of the skin. The more hyaluronic acid, peptides, ribose, and active ingredients in your serums the better. We need to keep our fibroblasts, melanocytes healthy as they are the source of plump, juicy skin.

An eye cream to me is the most important cream as the eye area is a place that doesn’t have any sebaceous glands (oil gland). These glands help remove old skin cells, keep the skin lubricated and prevent tissues drying out. Therefore, for me, I always use an eyelid lifting serum, eye cream in the night time and eye roll-on gel in the morning. Our eyes can make us look older than we are so it’s important to look after them. It’s very important not to go too close to the eye when applying creams as the skin is very thin. A little bit often makes a big difference.

When applying your serum and cream rub upwards and outwards; be careful not to tug the delicate skin around the eyes.

Apply SPF all year round, it’s the most important step in preventing skin cancer and keeps your skin healthy as you age. Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays helps maintain a healthy youthful visage. However, it’s important to remember the best form of sun block is to keep your face in the shade.

With all skincare routines, it’s important to keep it consistant. Do it twice a day every day and follow with monthly facials. Your skin is the largest organ on the body. This means that it’s important to take good care of it.

For more information, or to book a skin consultation or facial, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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What do we mean by ‘Employability’?

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at www.mycareerplan.ie. Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor

According to experts in the area of career development, the term ‘employability’ refers to a set of achievements that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations.

This in turn benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. At this stage in the year Leaving Cert students are well into the process of trying to decide what step they want to take next. It is a daunting task for many of you because of the variety of choices available and the challenge for young people at 17 or 18 years of age to really know what career they might like. It is important to remember that you aren’t choosing a career for life, you are taking the next step and you will be building on that as your career develops. A big concern for many students and parents is whether they will get a job at the end of their chosen course or pathway. While we have some indications of where there will be skills shortages in the short to medium term, the jobs market is subject to change.

PATHWAY

One thing we can be sure of is that, regardless of what pathway you take after the Leaving Cert, be that Further Education courses (FET), traineeships, apprenticeships or university courses, on completion of your training and education you will want to be ‘employable’. In simple terms ‘employability’ depends on your knowledge (what you know) your skills (what you do with what you know) and your attitude (how you approach things). As you research the various options open to you after you finish school, remember you are heading into a working world that values transferable skills which include specialist knowledge in the subject, field of study or technical area you have chosen to follow. It also places huge emphasis on having the ability to analyse, evaluate and use information effectively to problem-solve and to organise and communicate knowledge well. Furthermore, your personal qualities are a core part of your offering to a potential employer – your ability to work on your own initiative, to self-manage, to manage time and meet targets and deadlines. Central to all of this of course is the ability to collaborate, to work and study as part of a team.

If you are struggling to decide between courses or options, focus on finding an area that you really want to find out more about. You will develop a set of transferable skills which will give you flexibility and adaptability as you grow and develop in your career. All of the other things you do will add value to your degree/qualification and that is what will ensure your ‘employability’!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at www.mycareerplan.ie. Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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