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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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Man released without charge in murder case

The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge […]

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The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge in relation to this matter.

Miriam Burns was found in her home on Monday afternoon after family and neighbours became concerned about her welfare.

A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and investigations are ongoing under the direction of a Senior Investigating Officer.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to any persons who were in the Ardshanavooley area between 5pm on Friday and 1pm on Monday and observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.

Any road users who were travelling in the area at these times who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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Plenty of music and entertainment to celebrate Kilcummin talent

The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night. The talent within […]

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The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night.

The talent within the branch was clearly evident with a packed trophies table. Indeed some of the successes over the last number of months were replayed in a relaxed, jovial atmosphere that meant that all attending had a great night’s entertainment.

“We had demonstrations of winning sets across all age groups and then we moved onto the musicians who pulled out all the stops to entertain the large crowd, packed into the clubhouse,” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCÉ PRO, told the Killarney Advertiser.

John Moriarty, who has recently retired from his role of Supervisor with Kilcummin Rural Development was acknowledged with a presentation to reflect the outstanding work that he has done to enhance and grow Kilcummin Comhaltas over his 25 years in his role, he added.

“Much thanks and praise was also offered to Mary, Adrian and Conor Moriarty, all involved in the progression of dancing and music within the Kilcummin branch. The music and entertainment continued with Helen Kerins and Denis Crowley late into the night. We’re looking forward to next year already!”

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