the question that won’t leave government alone – The Irish Times


If Brexit is the story that will rumble endlessly, and landmines like the mica controversy and President Higgins’ protests will blow up from time to time, then the cost of living is the issue that won’t let the government only.

Further evidence from last night’s parliamentary party meetings, where government TDs were moderately agitated on the subject, as reported by Jack Horgan-Jones. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has told Fine Gael TDs he will have a discussion with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe on the issue of fuel costs, which backbench MPs are bombarded with by their beleaguered constituents, especially in rural areas.

This will be one of the dynamics to watch in the coming weeks as Donohoe and Public Spending Minister Michael McGrath look to stay the course amid growing pressure for a new set of measures to mitigate increases in the cost of life before the Dáil rises. in mid-July. How it ends up will tell us a lot about the budget coming in October, and also about the inner workings of the Coalition.

This morning’s lead article has more details on how inflation hurts people on the fringes. A new ESRI study found that nearly a third of all households in the state now live in energy poverty due to recent price hikes. It’s pretty bad now. But what happens when winter comes?

The story is here.

And this week’s podcast features a discussion on the topic with, among others, UCC economist Seamus Coffey, available here (or wherever you get your podcasts, as they say).

Mica mess

Jennifer Bray has more details on the mica mess this morning. It appears that state aid rules may make it difficult for owners to be included in the scheme. Better and better, this one. History here and a Q&A to catch up with you here.

Northern Ireland Protocol

In Brussels, the EU announced it would take two legal actions against the UK, one for the ‘unfreezing’ of a case started last year, and the other for a new round of proceedings of execution. The decision was announced on Monday, but European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, who has the unenviable task of leading Brexit, was even more blunt than usual. “Let’s call a spade a spade: it’s illegal,” he said of Britain’s decision to introduce legislation to unilaterally scrap the protocol.

In London, the British government said it was disappointed by this rather brazen decision. But both sides seem to be using their pikes to carve out a long campaign. Brexit, you’ll be happy to hear, is going to be with us for a while.

Denis Staunton reports from London.

Presidential titles

Majestic, plump Michael D Higgins has pretty much catapulted himself into the headlines in recent days. He had some trouble with a Nigerian bishop (yes) but then got rid of some thoughts on the housing crisis (“a disaster”) which were interpreted in some circles – well, practically everywhere, really – as criticism of the government. Politics. There has been a bit of a pearl in the government about this, but not really a big surprise. The government has bigger housing concerns than Michael D.

Anyway, news here and analysis here.

best reads

Lots to chew on in today’s opinion pages. Newton Emerson says the DUP should accept the proposed outcome on the protocol and join the North executive, while Finn McRedmond says the British have completely misunderstood the EU.

Sebastian Barnes, head of the Tax Council, the government’s budget watchdog, said the country should save some of the windfall corporation tax revenue it is currently collecting: because it may not last eternally.

And for the day therein, Frank McNally’s Diary of the Irish recalls his long relationship with Ulysses.

game book

It’s Bloomsday, so expect a lot of respectable people strolling through the town in Edwardian attire, doused in burgundy and Gorgonzola. Well, you could do worse.

Introibo ad altere Dei and his questions on public finance and spending first in the Dáil this morning, followed by questions from the leaders and later statements on special education. A report on halving transport emissions by the end of the decade ends before a civil adjournment at 7.17pm. Government business in the Seanad is Garda legislation and there is a Built Heritage Preservation Private Member’s Bill before an adjournment at 5.15pm.

Just three committee meetings on today’s schedule. The Gender Equality Committee will hear from carer organisations, while the Public Accounts Committee will hold a hearing on escalating costs at the National Children’s Hospital. Would you believe it, the bill is still going up. Jack Horgan-Jones has the details. The autism committee is having a private meeting.

Will keep tabs on all of this for you? Yes we will Yes.


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