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The 9 at 9: Tuesday

Nine things you need to know by 9am: the Taoiseach’s long goodbye, IMF calls for a man tax and tensions brewing between North and South Korea.

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning coffee.

1. #LONG GOODBYE: It has emerged that Taoiseach Brian Cowen called the Opposition leaders last night and offered to show them the financial advice underpinning the budget – but they refused. Both leaders said they wanted an immediate dissolution of the Dáil before the Budget passes. Labour said it wasn’t going to write the government a blank cheque.  Meanwhile, the Greens – who reportedly saw red after getting vague and unclear information on the bailout – have welcomed the Taoiseach’s commitment to call an election

2. #MAN TAX: The IMF has published a memo on its website controversially suggesting a 5 per cent tax cut for women – a move which, along with better childcare, would increase GDP by 1.75 per cent. The paper, which was co-written by Ajai Chopra, one of the IMF’s representatives in Ireland, states: “IMF staff estimates show that cutting labour income taxes paid by women by 5 percentage points would increase the GDP level by 1¾ percentage points, for a fiscal cost of ½ percentage point of GDP”. The IMF has also recommended gradually reduced dole payments, and a drop in the minimum wage. The same paper also advocates that more resources be given to Fás.

3. #HEAVE? Fianna Fáil backbenchers are reportedly due to meet today to consider a confidence motion in the Taoiseach. The Independent adds that he is expected to be replaced by either Micheal Martin, Brian Lenihan, Mary Hanafin or Dermot Ahern before the next election campaign, but that no definite successor has yet emerged.

4. #OPPOSITION: But the Opposition aren’t exactly united either: the Examiner reports that FG and Labour have clashed over how to deal with the IMF and the planned €6 billion cuts.

5. #OPTIMISM: And this just in from the Department of Endless Optimism: Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is continuing to insist that we have turned the corner, saying the recession has stabilised, and we have a “very good future”.

6. #DENMARK: Denmark is reportedly preparing to offer a bilateral loan to Ireland, alongside Sweden and the UK.

7. #NEW ZEALAND: Fears are growing for the fate of the 29 trapped miners, as a second robot is sent down the mine. The country’s prime minister has acknowledged that some of them may be dead. Rescue officials have released cctv showing a powerful and sustained explosion

8. #SOUTH KOREA Tensions are escalating between South Korea and North Korea after North Korea blasted artillery shells at an off shore island of South Korea.  The BBC is reporting this is one of the most serious incidents since the the Korean War ended without a peace treaty in 1953.

9. #YOUREFFIRED: Commentators have been busy suggesting ways the public can let their frustration at government incompetence show. In the Examiner, Fergus Finlay is calling for silent protest at 2pm on Budget Day, while Fintan O’Toole wants the public at large to join in Saturday’s trade union protests. Our favourite initiative comes from comedian and actor Morgan C Jones, who is organising a ‘You’re Fired’ protest outside the Dáil on Thursday.

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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