Recent electricity bills are hitting homes across the country, and some may find themselves breathing a sigh of relief as the government’s €200 credit kicks in and ditches the high costs.
But that relief obviously wouldn’t last long if Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s words were anything she could go through.
On our front page this morning, Pat Leahy and Naomi O’Leary report how Mr. Martin has now warned that higher oil and gas prices are inevitable for the foreseeable future.
There is clearly an energy crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in several decades. That’s the reality and I think we have to be honest with people.”
Leahy and O’Leary report how the latest inflation figures reveal how high costs will continue across the eurozone, with officials at European statistics agency Eurostat reporting a record 8.1 per cent rise in May.
Despite this, Mr Martin almost ruled out offering another package of support to households before the budget in October.
It is difficult to see a situation in which inflation does not exert a dominant influence on the future successes and failures of the Irish economy, and therefore the political landscape.
Any sense of safety that people held on after the pandemic seems to be disappearing, and those who have spent their faithful savings are likely to rein in it sooner rather than later, more than likely once their hard-earned vacations are out of the way. .
The problem will not only lie with energy costs: rising inflation touches almost everything else. Asking ambitious politicians has always been a clever question about the price of bread, milk or pasta. Despite this, it seems impossible for any of us to keep an eye on our grocery prices.
Given the instability, and warnings from Taoism that this problem will not go away, the question inevitably becomes: How long will this last? While Tanist Leo Varadkar told the Fine Gael parliamentary meeting last week (after his short trip to Davos) that the chief financial officers of the world’s leading financial firms believe inflation will “peak soon”, there is still doubt. As Taoiseach says in our front page report, we are entering a “rocky territory” and if the mood at the EU summit is anything to go by, inflationary pressures may persist for some time now.
Electoral reform finally?
Civil servants working for the Ministry of Housing specifically describe it as the “big monster” of the bill, and they’re not wrong: the electoral reform bill currently before the Oireachtas Housing Commission is long and far-reaching but also incredibly late. Every government for at least a decade has promised to reform election laws, but this legislation appears to have a fighting chance before the summer recess. It will lead to a more modern voter registration system and will also see major changes in terms of political advertising and funding announcements.
For example, under the new system, people between the ages of 16 and 17 will be pre-registered and then included in the master registry when they turn 18. A new electoral register will be constantly renewed or updated. Political parties are required to make an annual declaration about the real estate they own. This can greatly affect Sinn Féin. In terms of Dáil’s composition, there will be between 169 and 179 TDs, between nine and 19 more than the current numbers.
Cormac McQuinn has an updated article here detailing the various amendments introduced by politicians looking to advance the legislation as it works its way through the Oireachtas.
But if you’re wondering what exactly this would mean for you and the party you might want to vote for? We’ve covered that explanation here.
The bill will return to the committee at 9:30 a.m. today and we will keep you posted on any progress on the newly revamped www.irishtimes.com
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Substantive issues are raised at 9.12 am followed by members’ private business with the regional group at 10 am. They will submit a proposal for accommodation grants for the elderly and people with disabilities. Leaders’ questions are scheduled in the back followed by questions about policy or legislation. After the two-day EU summit, Taoiseach Micheál Martin will update politicians at 1.04pm during the Taoiseach Questions. Later, before 3pm, government business was scheduled with the Aided Decision Capacity Bill of 2022 and the Circular Economy Bill. Then the weekly voting block is decided in the evening and Dáil is adjourned at 9 PM.
You can find a file The full table is here.
Start issues are scheduled at 10:30 AM followed by the work order an hour later. At 12.45 pm, government work will be carried out and the Birth Information and Tracing Act, which gives adopted people access to their birth records, will be supported. Next, there will be data on the National Maternity Hospital and the Women’s Health Action Plan. At 6:30 pm, the members’ private business was scheduled with a proposal regarding support for Ukraine. Later at 8:30 PM the Birth and Tracing Information Bill for 2022 will return.
Synad finishes at 10 pm.
a More detailed agenda It can be found here.
The first major item of the day will be a Health Committee hearing scheduled for 10am where politicians will hear about Hepatitis C elimination in Ireland with representatives from the Hepatitis C Partnership due to appear. TDs and senators will be told that caring for people with hepatitis C is something of a ZIP code lottery, especially outside Dublin, while the annual funding is not being spent.
As mentioned, at 9:30 a.m., the Select Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage will continue to consider the Electoral Reform Bill 2022 with Secretary of State Malcolm Noonan.
Also at 9:30 a.m., the Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community, Rural and Island Development will meet to discuss issues related to pensions and social protection. They will hear from representatives from Foster Care Ireland and the Foster Care Association.
This will be one of the most closely watched committees of the day: at 1.30pm the Joint Transportation Committee will discuss recent severe delays experienced by passengers at Dublin Airport with DAA CEO Dalton Philips.
Best of the rest can be found here.
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