Video: Eirgrid issues alert over electricity supply; proposed 30% tax rate for middle earners

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Government ‘doing everything’ it can to avoid blackouts this winter

The Tánaiste said the Government is “doing everything” it can to avoid blackouts this winter, after an amber alert was issued for the second day in a row.

Leo Varadkar said the Government is seeking additional generation capacity and looking at a plan to reduce demand during peak times.

The Single Electricity Market Operator, EirGrid, issued an amber alert on Wednesday morning, stating it was due to a “generation shortfall in Ireland”.

The alert is issued when there is a threat to the supply of electricity.

30% tax rate could save middle earners €1,000 a year

Close to 1 million middle-income earners and couples could save up to €1,000 a year should the Government introduce a new 30 per cent tax rate in the budget.

The Government published its tax strategy papers on Wednesday outlining what options are available for tax changes in Budget 2023.

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The papers make clear that middle and higher earners are most likely to benefit from such a tax break, while lower earners would see little or no benefit from it.

A 30 per cent tax band covering income from €36,800 to €46,800 would lead to a tax saving of €1,000 per year for an individual.

IRFU to ban transgender women from female contact rugby

Transgender women will be excluded from playing against other adult women in contact rugby in Ireland, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) announced on Wednesday.

The IRFU said the decision is based on “medical and scientific evidence and is in line with World Rugby guidance.”

A statement by the IRFU said: “Recent peer reviewed research provides evidence that there are physical differences between those people whose sex was assigned as male and those as female at birth, and advantages in strength, stamina and physique brought about by male puberty are significant and retained even after testosterone suppression.”

The new policy, which the IRFU says is in line with that of World Rugby, the RFU and other governing bodies, will mean that contact rugby for players in the female category is limited to those whose sex was recorded as female at birth.

Charity urges state intervention amid soaring rents

A housing charity has called for state intervention to bring relief to tenants after record levels of rent increases were reported in recent months.

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Rents increased by the fastest rate on record in the second quarter of this year, according to the latest report from property website Daft.ie.

The average market rent nationwide between April and June was €1,618 per month, up 3.3 per cent on the first three months of the year, the report states.

Market rents in the second quarter of this year were an average of 12.6 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier, the highest annual rate of inflation recorded by Daft.ie.

Heatwave begins with highs of 29 degrees expected this week

Met Éireann issued a status yellow heat warning for 18 counties in Leinster and Munster. It comes into effect from noon on Thursday and will remain in place until 6am on Sunday.

Tonight will be dry and clear with mist and fog developing in places. Lowest temperatures eight to 13 degrees in light winds or calm conditions.

Thursday will also be warm, dry and sunny. It will be hottest in Munster and Leinster while remaining cooler along coasts of Connacht and west Ulster.

Highest temperatures of 24 to 28 degrees in light winds, with a sea breeze developing once again in the afternoon.

Government ‘considering all options’ to accommodate Ukrainian refugees

The Tánaiste said the Government is considering “all options” to find accommodation for Ukrainian refugees as thousands will be moved out of student campuses over the coming weeks.

Leo Varadkar said the Government is doing its best to accommodate Ukrainian refugees, with Ireland taking in around 1 per cent of Ukrainians who have fled the war.

There are more than 4,000 refugees staying in student accommodation across the country.

Asked what the Government is doing to secure housing and rooms for those who will be moved out in the coming weeks, Mr Varadkar said it is “looking at all options”.

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