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The 9 at 9: Tuesday

A Dáil motion on the concrete levy, restaurants struggle with energy bills and An Bord Pleanála reform

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Oct 4th 2022, 8:40 AM

GOOD MORNING.

Here’s all the news you need to know as you start your day.

Concrete levy

1. In our lead story this morning, Christina Finn reports on Sinn Féin’s Dáil motion to scrap the concrete levy, introduced as part of Budget 2023, in its current form.

The new 10% levy on concrete blocks, pouring concrete and other products will be introduced next April to fund the mica redress scheme.

The levy is expected to raise €80 million annually, but experts have predicted that the cost is likely to be passed on to house buyers.

Restaurants’ energy crisis

2. Restaurants across the country have made the decision to close entirely on off-peak days in an attempt to keep energy costs down, according to the head of the industry’s lobby group.

Speaking to The Journal, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said he has been hearing from food businesses that are “sitting down with staff to talk about contingency measures regarding the sustainability of their businesses in autumn and winter”.

He said one of the main measures businesses are taking is a reduced week, keeping their doors closed on less busy days earlier in the week.

An Bord Pleanála

3. An action plan to reform An Bord Pleanála is to be brought before Cabinet, it is understood.

The plan is to include a new regime of recruitment for appointments to the Board, which will see the nomination process replaced entirely.

The planning authority has been at the centre of controversy for several months with its deputy chair, Paul Hyde, resigning in July following revelations about alleged conflicts of interest. Hyde has always denied any wrongdoing.

Electricity prices

4. Electric Ireland set to tell members of the Oireachtas Environment Committee that it had “no choice” but to increase its energy prices due to the “unprecedented” rise in wholesale gas prices.

The energy provider’s executive director and the managing director of ESB Networks will appear before the committee today to answer questions on the price increases being experienced by customers.

The energy provider announced three price increases this year.

North Korean missile

5. North Korea has fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, prompting Tokyo to activate the country’s missile alert system and order people to take shelter.

South Korea’s military said it had detected the launch of an IRBM, which flew around 4,500 kilometres at an altitude of about 970 kilometres and a speed of around Mach 17, or nearly 21,000 kilometres per hour.

Indonesia stadium tragedy

6. A police chief and nine elite officers have been removed from their posts in Indonesia after 125 people were killed at a football stadium.

The disaster on Saturday night was among the deadliest ever at a sporting event, with 125 deaths, including 17 children.

Donald Trump

7. Former US president Donald Trump has filed a $475 million (€483 million) lawsuit against CNN, alleging the broadcaster defamed him to short-circuit any future political campaign.

The lawsuit focuses primarily on the term “The Big Lie” about Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud that he says cost him the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.

US women’s football

8. An independent investigation into allegations of misconduct in US women’s soccer has found “systemic” abuse and sexual misconduct by coaches.

The probe by former US Attorney General Sally Yates and the King & Spalding law firm uncovered verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct, including a pattern of “sexually charged comments, unwanted sexual advances and touching and coercive sexual intercourse.”

Rower

9. Former rugby player Damian Browne has become the first person to row from New York to Galway.

His epic journey ended last night in rather precarious circumstances shortly before 1 am when Browne was forced ashore on the rocks at Furbo Beach, just short of the Port of Galway.

He spent nearly 16 weeks at sea.

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