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The 5 at 5 5 stories, 5 minutes, 5 o’clock…

EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, brings you five things you need to know before 5 o’clock…

1. #HOME OWNERS: Thousands of mortgage-holders who bought properties during the boom will have to wait four months before the new mortgage interest relief announced in the Budget kicks in. Michael Noonan introduced the new rate for first-time buyers who got mortgages between 2004 and 2008, at the peak of the property boom. However the new rate may not be formally adopted into law until mid-April.

2. #HOUSEHOLD CHARGE: The Minister for the Environment has insisted that the household charge website is “fully secure” after the Data Protection Commissioner raised concerns over the information members of the public provide to the site. Billy Hawkes described the government’s proposal to use information held by the ESB to chase payments as a “disturbing development“.

3. #TWEETSTORM: A British Labour MP has apologised amid ongoing calls for her resignation, following her tweet saying that “white people love playing divide and rule”. Diane Abbott claimed her tweet was taken out of context but has apologised “for any offence caused”.

4. #JOBS: The number of people signing on the Live Register fell slightly in December to 434,784 people – the lowest figure since last April. In other good news for jobs today, over 13,000 jobs were created by multinational companies in Ireland last year, according to the IDA.

5. #RACISM: A taxi operators’ group has said that it is “not aware” of a problem with racist abuse against black drivers, after a man was jailed for a racist attack on a Nigerian driver. The head of the Irish Taxi Drivers Federation said that he had had two complaints about racial abuse from drivers in the past three years.

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