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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Nine things you need to know by 9am: the government unveils its 4 year plan, but Standard & Poor’s has already made up its mind; Taoiseach apologises to Burton after asking Gilmore to “rein her in” and Tayto Park opens.

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really, really need to know before you start the day.

1. #FOUR YEAR PLAN: Details of the government’s four year plan to cut the government deficit by €15 billion are to be published today. Significant tax increases, the introduction of a new social payment to replace PRSI, cuts in social welfare payments and reform of the system, and some kind of levy on property are all likely to be included.

2. #BANKS: Bank of Ireland faces the prospect of majority Government control, while Allied Irish Banks could end up being 99.9 per cent State-owned and almost fully nationalised under the €85 billion EU-IMF rescue plan, the Irish Times reports.

3. #DOWNGRADED: Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Ireland again, from AA to A, and has put the country on ‘creditwatch’, which means another downgrade could follow. The timing of the announcement has nothing to do with the further recapitalisations of Irish banks as it had been decided by midday yesterday, RTE reports.

4. #OPPOSITION: Fine Gael’s Michael Noonan has launched a stinging attack on the Greens, saying: “what they have done in terms of coalition Government is absolutely outrageous..At a time when credibility and confidence and certainty was so required, and when those of us on this side of the House were tiptoeing around the issues and walking on eggs in case we get the Cabinet and the country into further difficulty, they march down the road and they go in and they make this daft announcement”

5. #D’OH: Taoiseach Brian Cowen has had to apologise to Joan Burton after asking her party leader Eamon Gilmore to “rein her in”.

6. #CHURCH ABUSE: Pope Benedict has spoken out about Ireland’s child abuse crisis, saying “In Ireland the problem is altogether specific – there is a self-enclosed Catholic society, so to speak, which remained true to its faith despite centuries of oppression, but in which, then, evidently certain attitudes were also able to develop…To see a country that gave the world so many missionaries, so many saints, which in the history of the missions also stands at the origin of our faith in Germany, now in a situation like this is tremendously upsetting and depressing. ”

7. #KOREA: The South Korean military has been put on “highest alert”, following yesterday’s shelling by North Korea of one of its offshore islands. Meanwhile, Obama has described North Korea as “a significant threat”.

8. #NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand says the 29 trapped miners are now all dead after a second explosion ripped through the mine.

9. #TAYTO PARK: The world’s first theme park dedicated to the humble crisp, Tayto Park, opens today. Launched on 55 acres of Meath farmland by crisp king Ray Coyle, the park will create 85 jobs and offer children the chance to visit Santa, experience a Native American village or, er, eat Irish crisps.

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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