Minister Paschal Donohue

  • The Minister for Finance is urging both sides in the latest health workers dispute to continue with efforts to avoid tomorrow's planned strike.

    10,000 health support staff who are members of the SIPTU trade union are due to stage industrial action from 8am tomorrow morning, in a row over pay.

    38 hospitals and healthcare facilities will be affected by the strike - including Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway University Hospitals as well as Portiuncla and Merlin Park Hospital.

    The HSE has acknowledged the strike will have a "significant impact" on services despite back-up plans being put in place.

    Minister Paschal Donohoe says whatever can be done across the day will be done in a bid to avert tomorrow's industrial action.

     But he says a pay agreement is still in place, which he's committed to protecting.

     

  • The Government has unveiled Budget 2019 with no real surprises in Paschal Donohoe's plan.

    More than 66 billion euro will be spent next year.

    2.3 billion will be spent in 2019 on housing, including 1.25 billion to deliver 10,000 social homes next year.

    An affordable Housing scheme has been funded, which the government hopes will deliver 6,000 affordable homes.

    The health budget will be brought to 17 billion and free GP care extended to an extra 100,000 people.

    An extra 84 million has been dedicated to mental health services.

    Social Welfare payments will rise by 5 euro a week across the board, and the Christmas bonus will be restored in full for all social welfare recipients.

    Cigarettes will be 50 cent a pack more expensive, while alcohol has been left alone in this Budget.

    There's no carbon tax increase but a 1 per cent surcharge has been put on VRT for diesel cars.

    The Minimum wage is to be increased to 9.80 per hour

    The most contentious measure may be increasing the VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector to 13.5 per cent

    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is describing the Budget as "a dark day for the tourism and hospitality sector".

  • The price of new and used diesel cars could go up by as much as one thousand euro under plans to cut carbon emissions.

    The Finance Minister is being advised to overhaul the motor tax system and help squeeze out second-hand imports, the Irish Independent reports.

    The recommendations have been made by the Department of Finance's Tax Strategy Group with an aim to make Ireland a leader in the take-up of electric vehicles.

    Paschal Donoghue will have to decide on the reforms in time for October's budget