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State of the Nation: Kite-flying and 'dirty tricks'

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

EACH WEEKDAY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you a comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world.

Everyone’s talking about…

With the Budget just over a week away, the kite-flying is gathering pace in earnest this morning.

The Irish Independent leads with a story about tax breaks for builders: the paper reports that developers will get a discount on their tax bill if they begin work on sites within 18 months of getting planning permission. Full details of the plan will be outlined as part of Michael Noonan’s announcement next week, according to the Indo — but proposals for cheaper mortgages for first time buyers are being put on ice for the moment.

Elsewhere, a spat concerning the Dublin South West by-election generated plenty of interest over the weekend. Paul Murphy (below), of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, has now accepted an apology from Sinn Féin after several members of the party shared an allegedly fake Facebook comment that appeared to be from him.

Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

The agenda… 

  • Jobs Minister Richard Bruton is in Tipperary this morning to announce 100 jobs at a new meat processing plant.
  • Dublin City Council meets this evening at 6.45pm.
  • Event-wise, there’s not much else happening politically today — but campaigning continues in Dublin SW and Roscommon-South Leitrim, ahead of Friday’s by-elections.

What the others are saying…

  • The Government’s coming under renewed pressure to ban below-cost alcohol sales, according to this morning’s Irish Times. It’s estimated the State is losing €21 million annually through lost VAT and excise duty as a result of the practice.
  • Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has described his party’s handling of the John McNulty Affair as a “terrible mess” according to the Irish Daily Mail.
  • And the Herald reports that a three-year plan to cut income tax is to be announced as part of next week’s Budget, but that it’s unclear as yet when changes to the 52 per cent marginal rate will kick in.

In case you missed it…

On the Twitter machine….

The US VP has been in fine form over the last few days.

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