Video: Plans for cost-of-living package; EU to ban petrol and diesel car sales

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Cost-of-living package to be ‘final intervention’ before the budget

A planned package of additional cost-of-living measures will be the final round of supports before the budget, the Minister for Finance has said.

Michael McGrath said the steps set to be outlined by the Government in the coming weeks had to make the best possible use of public money.


He said ministers would be carefully considering what measures to introduce or extend to ensure that any action would not result in upward pressure on inflation.

A series of existing cost-of-living measures is currently due to fall away at the end of the month.

These include the energy credit scheme for households, a reduced 9 per cent VAT rate on hospitality, electricity and gas; and the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBES). Excise is also due to go up on petrol and diesel.

EU agrees to end sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035

MEPs welcomed the landmark move by the EU today to end internal combustion engine car sales, saying that it must come with an unprecedented level of investment in alternative and public transport.


“Today we set out a new vision for our towns and rural areas. A Europe built for people, not for traffic,” MEP Grace O’Sullivan said in European Parliament debate in Strasbourg today.

The European Parliament this Tuesday voted to phase out the sale of any new international combustion engine cars by 2035 in a landmark European Green Deal decision as well as committing to reduce overall car emissions by 55 per cent by 2030.

The EU’s current targets for reducing internal combustion engine car sales have already made the continent the largest market for the cars, and these targets have been made more ambitious with the vote today.

Taoiseach and Tánaiste to spend St Patrick's Day abroad

Argentina, Abu Dhabi, Kenya, India, and New Zealand are among the destinations that Government ministers will travel to as part of St Patrick’s Day celebrations this year.


As the Irish Examiner reports, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will travel to Washington where he will meet US president Joe Biden in the White House on St Patrick’s Day.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin will also fly to the US and will spend a week in New York and Boston where he will attend a range of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and is expected to walk in the annual parade.

This year, a “big overseas effort” is planned which will “bounce back” from limited travel during the Covid pandemic with members of the Government visiting every continent. The full list of visits which will promote ‘100 years of Ireland’ is due to go to Cabinet on Tuesday.

Siptu denies opposing the recruitment of Filipino mechanics for NCT centres

Siptu's industrial organiser at the services division, Myles Worth has expressed surprise at suggestions that the trade union opposed the recruitment of mechanics from the Philippines to help combat the backlog at NCT centres.


Mr Worth told RTÉ radio’s Today that 44 mechanics from the Philippines were recruited, and he did not know where reports came from that attempts had been made to recruit 120.

There had been “absolutely” no opposition to such recruitment attempts by the trade union, he said. The recruits from the Philippines had been welcomed.

Mr Worth also refuted the suggestion that recruiting mechanics from abroad was preferable to employing less qualified mechanics.

He acknowledged that there had been some staff shortages during Covid and post-Covid, but that the numbers would “settle down” as people were coming back to work and the company that operates the NCT service was “quite positive in their outlook on recruitment.”


Liverpool urge Uefa to implement all recommendations from Champions League final report

Liverpool have implored Uefa to fully implement all the recommendations made in the highly-critical independent report into the last year’s Champions League final chaos.

European football’s governing body commissioned a team led by Portuguese Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to look into issues of dangerous congestion, supporters being attacked by locals and tear-gassed by police and the all-round operation at the Stade de France in May and it lays the blame at the feet of Uefa and the French authorities.

The report stated Uefa bore “primary responsibility for failures” which almost led to the final against Real Madrid becoming a “mass fatality catastrophe”.

“Last night Uefa published the Independent Panel Report into the failings that we saw first-hand in Paris and it is within this context that we call on Uefa and others at the top of the football regulation pyramid to come together and take positive and transparent action to ensure there are no more ‘near misses’,” said a Liverpool statement.

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