Video: Budget fallout, EU move to resolve Protocol issues, students protest in Dublin

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Budget 2022

Government ministers are defending Budget 2022 after it was unveiled on Tuesday.

The €4.7 billion spending package included an increase of 30 cent for the minimum wage, a €5 increase in the State pension and a €5 increase in the weekly fuel allowance, however, opposition parties said the measures do not go far enough to address matters such as the rising cost of living or the housing crisis.

Speaking after the budget was published, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said the plans will leave the country's finances in a good position.

Protocol problems

The European Commission is to put forward a package of measures to the UK to ease frictions surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Commission's measures are designed to ease customs controls, such as the clearance of meat, dairy and other food products and the flow of medicines to the North from Britain.

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However, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has criticised the UK's approach to the protocol, warning global political leaders against entering into any agreements with the British government until they are confident it will keep its promises.

Mr Varadkar's comments come after British prime minister Boris Johnson's former adviser, Dominic Cummings indicated the British government never planned to stick to the Brexit deal.

Dublin drug seizure

Gardaí have arrested a man in his 70s and seized €310,000 worth of MDMA in Dublin.

Shortly before 10pm on Monday, gardaí from Store Street Garda station stopped and searched a man in the Dublin 1 area.

During the search, €310,000 worth of suspected MDMA was discovered. The man has since been charged an was due to appear in court on Wednesday morning.

Ryanair bans

Ryanair is barring passengers who requested chargebacks for flights they did not take during the Covid pandemic from future flights with the airline.

The airline said “a tiny minority” of passengers are affected after they “unlawfully” processed chargebacks via their credit card company - a reversal of a transaction on a credit or debit card - in place of a refund processed by the airline.

Ryanair said these passengers are required to settle their outstanding debt before they will be allowed to fly with the airline again.

Student protest

Students are to protest in Dublin City Centre on Wednesday in response to a letter sent to University College Dublin's (UCD) Student Union from Dublin City Council's chief executive Owen Keegan.

UCDSU wrote to Mr Keegan to highlight their concerns over 571 student flats being converted into short-term tourist accommodation, to which the chief executive replied: "If you genuinely believe that excess profits are being made in the PBSA [purpose-built student accommodation] market, I am surprised the students’ union has not entered the market itself and provided lower-cost student accommodation for its members."

Mr Keegan's remarks drew criticism from a number of TDs, who described the response as "snide", "flippant" and "dismissive". Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he thought the remark was "insulting", adding that when he first read the letter he thought it was a Waterford Whispers article.

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