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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Budget questions answered, a fourth Nord Stream leak and Coolio dies.

Image: Shutterstock

Updated Sep 29th 2022, 9:00 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

Budget Q&A

1. Another budget day has come and gone. We asked readers to submit their questions about Budget 2023 and received dozens of queries since Tuesday evening.

We looked into your concerns and found the answers to some of your most frequently asked questions, from the renters’ tax credit and fuel allowance to childcare and electric vehicles.

Nord Stream leaks

2. A fourth leak has been detected in undersea pipelines running from Russia to Europe after several explosions were reported earlier this week in suspected sabotage, causing huge gas leaks.

The vast leaks cause significant bubbling at the surface of the sea several hundred metres wide, making it impossible to immediately inspect the structures.

Suspicions of sabotage emerged after the leaks were detected. Moscow denied it was behind the explosions, as did the United States, saying Moscow’s suggestion it would damage the pipeline was “ridiculous”.

Hurricane Ian

3. Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms recorded in the US, has swamped south-west Florida.

The category 4 storm turned streets into rivers, knocked out power to 1.8 million people and threatened catastrophic damage further inland after it made landfall yesterday.

The hurricane slammed the coast with 240 kmph winds and pushed a wall of storm surge accumulated during its slow march over the Gulf of Mexico.

Truss defends mini-budget

4. UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has defended her government’s mini-budget, which has lead to massive turmoil in markets, saying that the measures will “get our economy moving”.

The tax-slashing mini-budget, which was unveiled by new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng last Friday, has seen the pound drop significantly and forced the Bank of England into an emergency bond-buying programme to prevent borrowing costs from spiraling out of control.

The UK’s central bank announced yesterday that it was stepping in to buy up to £65 billion worth of government bonds – known as gilts – at an “urgent pace” after fears over the Government’s economic policies sent the pound tumbling and sparked a sell-off in the gilts market, which threatened to spark the collapse of some UK pension funds.

Juvenile remains found in Cork

5. Gardaí are investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery of juvenile skeletal remains in east Cork

The discovery of the remains in Killeagh was made after gardaí were given confidential information. Gardaí have said they are following a definite line of enquiry. 

Rapper Coolio dies

6. Coolio, the rapper best known for the chart-topping 1995 song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died. He was 59 years old.

The Grammy-winning musician passed away in Los Angeles. No cause of death was immediately provided.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr on August 1, 1963 in Pennsylvania, the artist spent most of his life in Compton, California, attending community college and working jobs including airport security before finding success in rap.

Tax credit FactCheck

7. Our latest FactCheck examines the claim that the renters’ €500 tax credit is worth just seven days worth of rent in Dublin?

A government announcement that the 2023 budget will include a €500 tax credit for renters was undercut by a press release from the housing charity Threshold, who said that this will amount to just “2.06% of the yearly average rent in Dublin and just 2.89% of the yearly average rent nationally”.

Let’s see whether a €500 tax credit is just enough to cover 2.06% (or seven days) of the yearly average rent in Dublin.

Concrete levy

8. A new 10% levy on concrete introduced in the Budget to help pay the redress for the mica scandal will mean an extra cost of at least €3,00 to build a typical home in Ireland, according to warnings.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors said that the levy will add €3,00o-€4,000 to the overall delivery cost of an average three-bed-semi.

Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes

9. Three Armenians have in fresh border clashes with Azerbaijan, according to officials, two weeks after the arch foes’ worst fighting since their 2020 war jeopardised nascent peace talks.

At least 286 people were killed from both sides during the two-day fighting earlier this month, before the United States brokered a truce.

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About the author:

Céimin Burke

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