Video: Donnelly faces Sláintecare questions, prisoner escapes in Cavan, OECD tax deal progress

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Sláintecare restructure

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is facing questions regarding the Sláintecare programme in front of the Oireachtas health committee today.

The plan for universal healthcare has been called into question in recent weeks following a number of resignations among those working to implement the initiative.

Speaking at this morning's committee meeting, Mr Donnelly confirmed a new structure will be created to replace the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council (SIAC), which will be co-chaired by secretary general of the Department of Health, Robert Watt and HSE chief executive Paul Reid.

Prison escape

A convicted drug dealer has escaped from an open prison in Co Cavan.

The Dubliner, who has been in jail for over 10 years on drug and firearm offences, absconded from Loughan House on Monday.

It is understood the was facing being transferred to a closed prison for breaching the facility's rules and Gardaí have been informed of the matter.

Central Bank predictions

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The Irish economy will see a post-Covid growth surge which is expected to create 160,000 jobs over the next two years, according to the Central Bank.

Unemployment is expected to reduce to below 6 per cent, while economic growth is predicted to be 15.3 per cent this year and 7.2 per cent in 2022.

The Central Bank's latest bulletin also predicts average earnings will rise by 5.1 per cent this year due to labour shortages in different sectors, particularly construction.

Global tax deal

The Taoiseach has said there has been “significant progress” in negotiations on a new global corporation tax deal.

The Government is expected to sign-up for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) agreement on a minimum corporate tax rate of 15 per cent.

Mr Martin said there was progress on the “at least 15 per cent” clause, which had led to fears of a higher minimum rate, and it could now be removed from the agreement's draft text.

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