Video: Irish food prices second highest in euro zone; income tax thresholds set to change

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Income tax thresholds to be changed as part of Budget

Income tax thresholds will be changed as part of the Budget to help lower and middle-income workers, the Minister for Public Expenditure has confirmed.

Michael McGrath has said that keeping the current tax bands in place would amount to an effective cut in wages for workers.

"We are going to make an intervention in the Autumn in the normal annual budget," he said adding that "work is actively underway" on preparing a range of measures.

Mr McGrath said the Summer Economic Statement, due to be published next week, will provide greater clarity on the total amount of money the Government will have to play around with for spending and tax changes.

Irish food prices ranked second most expensive in Eurozone

Food prices in Ireland have been ranked the second highest in the Eurozone in 2021, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

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Food prices were 17 per cent higher than the EU average, making them second highest in the Eurozone and third highest in the EU. Milk, cheese and eggs were the most expensive at 25 per cent higher than the EU average.

Ireland fell behind Switzerland which had the most expensive foods at 69 per cent above the EU average, while Ireland also ranked as the second most expensive county in both the EU and the Eurozone for alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol in Ireland was just over double the EU average in 2021.

New law to ensure hospitality service charges go directly to workers

Legislation is set to be introduced to ensure service charges in bars and restaurants go directly to workers.

The move will be brought forward as part of a new Bill on tips that is before the Seanad on Wednesday afternoon.

The amendment to the Bill also means customers will no longer be asked to pay mandatory service charges at restaurants or pubs.

The law will ban employers from placing a mandatory service charge unless those payments are treated by the employer in the same way as electronic tips or gratuities.

Any additional charges that are not going to staff must be now be explicit.

CAB target Eastern European gang seizing high value cars, cash and watches

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) conducted a large search operation on Wednesday seizing a number of high value cars, luxury watches and cash.

The operation targeted an Eastern European gang involved in the laundering of money through the second hand car trade.

The Eastern European gang is also involved in the supply of vehicles to Irish organised crime group’s throughout the country.

One electric Tesla, two electric BMW IX’s, two classics vehicles, €15,000 in cash and a number of high value watches including Rolex and Cartier brands were seized during the search operation.

Victims scammed out of €800,000 in romance fraud cases

Thirty-one cases of romance fraud have been reported to gardaí this year, costing the victims more than €800,000.

All cases except one, reported between January 2022 to the end of May 2022, occurred after the victims met the suspect over a dating app or through social media.

Gardaí are urging the public to be aware of romance fraud as they continue to investigate a large number of money laundering offences.

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