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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020
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Won't somebody please think of the childcare?

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

Updated 12.05 pm

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Everyone’s talking about…

26/2/2015 Low Pay Commissions Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

IF THERE’S ONE area that makes budget headlines, good or bad, it’s children and childcare. Whether it’s tax breaks for parents or cuts to child benefit these issues are usually top of the agenda in post-budget analyses.

In the case of cuts, they’re often talked about for years afterwards, just ask Labour. It’s with that in mind that Labour looks set to announce a new policy document today based around the issue of childcare.

The Irish Times reported yesterday that there’s a budget plan to subsidise the childcare costs of 25,000 low-income families. Today the paper says that Labour (coincidentally) wants childcare subsidies extended for private childcare providers.

Labour’s wish-list also wants an increase in child benefit and a new free pre-school year.

The plan is to be called ‘Let’s Talk About Childcare’, apparently.

Meanwhile, he Marriage Bill 2015 which seeks to give legal basis for same-sex marriages to happen was passed by the Dáil this morning.

 

 

The agenda

  • Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney takes Dáil questions from 9.30 am
  • The legal basis for same-sex marriages to happen will be discussed from 10.45 am
  • The government want a new body to run the National Concert Hall, that will be discussed this morning.
  • Leaders questions is on at noon today.
  • The inquiry into the banking inquiry meets in private committee at 2.30 pm.
  • The Dáil has two hours of statements on the capital plan from 5.30 pm.
  • In the Seanad, they’ll be taking statements on broadcasting and media in Ireland from 3 pm. 

Inside Leinster House 

Over the last few days we’ve seen some pretty different tax policies put forward ahead of the budget. Flat tax proposals may seem a million miles away from how things are usually done in Ireland, but their merits, or otherwise, have been thoroughly ventilated over the airwaves this week.

But Labour’s Kevin Humphreys has had enough:

Right wing republican candidates in the US are fans of flat taxes as they benefit ‘fat cats’ at the top but even Donald Trump thinks this radical form of tax policy is unfair.  

What the others are saying

  • There’ll be no changes to the limits for election spending or the reimbursement of expenses for candidates in the next election says The Irish Times
  • Michael Noonan’s officials have prepared a ‘quickie’ Finance Bill in case an early election is called, reports the Irish Independent.
  • Ireland’s data protection minister says it’s too early to say if new resources are needed after yesterday’s landmark EU ruling, says the Irish Examiner.
  • Enda Kenny expressed concern about the status of the J-1 programme as US authorities seek to tighten rules, reports the Irish Daily Mail.  

In case you missed it… 

Good day for…  

Ann Doherty. After gaining nationwide attention for the search for her sister Mary Boyle who’s been missing since 1977. Ann Doherty met a number of opposition TDs yesterday and was given a commitment that she would meet with the Taoiseach.

Bad day for…    

Donald Trump. Criticism matters little for the presidential hopeful, in fact it’s what’s fuelled his rise thus far. What is threatening to derail the Trump juggernaut though are his poll numbers. They’ve started to consistently contract.

On the Twitter machine…  

Fine Gael think they’ve Micheál Martin figured out.
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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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