Video: Government to overhaul State pension, Ploughing Championships returns

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Kenneth Fox

Grocery inflation

Grocery price inflation is at the highest level in more than 14 years, the latest market share data by Kantar has shown.

The cost of groceries is up by 11 per cent when compared to the same 12-week period last year – the highest increase since Kantar began to track grocery price inflation in May 2008.

In the four weeks to September 4th, the price of back-to-school essentials (bread, ham, cheese, yoghurt, cereal and milk) rose by 19.5 per cent, making a basket of these staples €2 more expensive.

The most basic items saw some of the biggest jumps according to Kantar, with bread up 20 per cent, ham up 12 per cent, milk up 26 per cent and yoghurt up 17 per cent.

EU ruling

EU governments cannot indiscriminately hold personal data unless there is a serious threat to national security, Europe's top court has ruled, dealing a setback to EU countries banking on mass data retention laws to combat crime and safeguard national security.

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The ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) comes after major attacks by Islamist militants in France, Belgium and Britain in recent years.

Governments argued that access to data, especially that collected by telecoms operators, can help prevent such incidents, while operators and civil rights activists oppose such access.

The latest case was triggered after Deutsche Telekom unit Telekom Deutschland and internet service provider SpaceNet AG which challenged Germany's data retention law arguing it breached EU rules.

Pension boost

The Government is to sign off on an overhaul of the State pension system that will see people who continue to work until they are 70 get increased weekly payments.

Under the plan, the official State pension age will remain at 66, but those who work until they are 70 will get pensions of up to 24 per cent more upon retirement, with payments rising by approximately 5 per cent for every year worked beyond 66.

As the Irish Examiner reports, based on the current State pension of €253.30, someone who works until they are 70 would get almost €315 per week.

The coalition party leaders have agreed to the changes, put forward by Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys, which will come before Cabinet on Tuesday, ending a long-running debate on how to handle the pension issue, against a background of a rising elderly population.

Cherry Orchard incident

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Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has condemned an incident of dangerous driving in Cherry Orchard, Dublin on Monday evening, during which a garda car was hit by a vehicle.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses following the incident which occurred shortly after 7.30pm involving two vehicles.

The cars failed to stop when asked to do so by gardaí and one of the vehicle subsequently collided with a garda car. No injuries were reported.

National Ploughing Championships

The National Ploughing Championships is back for the first time since 2019 following two years of cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Approximately 300,000 visitors are expected to attend the event being held in Ratheniska, Co Laois over the next three days.

This year's event will also see the staging of the 67th World Ploughing Contest which had been due to be held in St Petersburg, Russia in August.

Twenty-six competitors from countries around the world will take part, including entrants from New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

Homelessness issue

The forthcoming budget will be critical to "turn off the tap" of people entering into homelessness, the chief executive of homeless charity Depaul, David Carroll has said.

The Government has the power to introduce supports to ensure people do not have to choose between rent, heat or food, he told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland.

Mr Carroll was commenting on Depaul’s annual report which highlighted a complete "slow down" in the ability to move people on from temporary accommodation to permanent accommodation.

The report also noted a rise in the number of women who are homeless, with 25 per cent of Depaul's service uses now being women.

Putin's response to US

Russian president Vladimir Putin has condemned what he described as US efforts to preserve its global domination, saying they are doomed to fail.

Speaking while receiving credentials from foreign ambassadors to Moscow, Mr Putin said: “The objective development toward a multipolar world faces resistance of those who try to preserve their hegemony in global affairs and control everything — Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.”

He added that “the hegemony has succeeded in doing so for quite a long time, but it can’t go on forever… regardless of the developments in Ukraine”.

He has repeatedly cast his decision to send troops into Ukraine as a response to alleged western encroachment on Russia’s vital security interests.

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