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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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State of the Nation: A return for the Christmas bonus?

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 less than a week to go, speculation over what will and what won’t be contained in next Tuesday’s Budget package dominates the headlines in the papers this morning.

The Irish Independent has a front-page story on the prospect of pensioners having part of their Christmas bonus returned. The measure is being considered by Tánaiste Joan Burton and the Department of Social Protection, according to the paper. Speaking at an event last month, Burton also refused to rule out the possibility that a portion of the payment could be reintroduced.

Elsewhere, health minister Leo Varadkar has warned his fellow ministers that planned health reforms could be at risk unless he’s given enough cash next week — that’s according to this morning’s Irish Times.

And the ESRI is advising that the Government prioritises social housing in Budget 2015. The think tank has delivered its most optimistic unemployment forecast yet – predicting the jobless queues will drop to well below 10 per cent of the workforce next year.

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images ... Joan Burton and Enda Kenny

The agenda… 

  • The Dáil gets under way at 9.30am, with education minister Jan O’Sullivan taking questions for an hour. 
  • And, away from Leinster House, Sinn Féin launches its alternative Budget this morning at Merrion Street’s Davenport Hotel. 

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images ... Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams

  • Campaigning also continues for the two Dáil by-elections in Roscommon-South Leitrim and Dublin South West.

What the others are saying…

  • Elsewhere in the Indo, it’s reported the British Ambassador Dominick Chilcott will speak at a Fine Gael fundraiser this morning. The paper describes it as a break from diplomatic protocol. 
  • And the likes of Charlie McCreevy and Bill Cullen turned out yesterday for the launch of broadcaster and former Fine Gael minister Ivan Yates’ autobiography at the Marker Hotel, the Herald reports. 

In case you missed it… 

On the Twitter machine… 

Did you see last night’s Roscommon-South Leitrim debate on Vincent Browne? Ireland’s most famous turkey was watching … and he wasn’t impressed.

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