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Main points of budget 2014 so far

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Finance Minister Michael Noonan has presented his half of Budget 2014 to the Dail.

There were steep hikes in the price of alcohol and cigarettes with 10 cent being added to a pint of beer, cider and a standard measure of spirits, while 50 cent will be added to a bottle of wine.

10 cent will be added to cigarettes from midnight but motorists got off scott free with no changes to petrol or diesel.

Home heating oil and gas prices remain the same.

A new banking levy aimed as raising 150 million euro is to be introduced, savers will be hit with increases in DIRT tax, up from 33 to 41 per cent, while there will be increases too in capital gains and capital acquisitions tax

Despite fears that a gradual increase in VAT would be introduced for the hospitality sector, the 9 per cent rate announced last year is to remain in place.

To further support the travel and tourism sector, Air travel tax is to be reduced to ZERO from April next year provided airlines develop new routes

There’s also good news for those planning home renovations in the next two years.

Michael Noonan’s unveiled a tax incentive scheme for homeowners who spend between 5000 and 30 thousand euro.

But in an effort to root out the black economy it’s only payable to those who use registered and legitimate building contractors:

There were no changes announced to basic tax rates or the Universal social charge

And all payments to the survivors of the Magdalene laundries will be tax exempt

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Civil liberties group argues Mother and Baby Home redress scheme must be broadened

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has said the Mother and Baby Homes redress scheme must be significantly broadened to include all survivors.

In a submission to the Oireachtas Children’s Committee, the human rights organisation said the scheme is based on a deeply flawed report that did not properly address the human rights abuses that occurred in all institutions involved in forced family separations.

The group further argues that the proposed redress scheme excludes some categories of survivors, denies legal aid and forces survivors to sign a legal waiver, diluting their right to access justice.

It’s estimated the scheme will cover 34,000 survivors from an estimated 58,000.

The group argues this will potentially leave up to 24,000 survivors without adequate compensation.

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission report published in 2021 identified 2,219 women who were admitted to the Tuam home, when it was first in Glenamaddy from 1921 to 1925, and in Tuam from 1925 to 1961.

ICCL’s Communications Manager is Sinéad Nolan – she says the injustice of being excluded from the scheme is particularly acute for children who were boarded out or who spent less than six months in an institution.

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Applause in Dáil as Taoiseach receives message from Ukrainian students at Galway Community College

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There was a round of applause in the Dáil this afternoon after the Taoiseach was read a letter from Ukrainian students attending school in Galway.

The students from Galway Community College were in attendence in the public gallery to hear Deputy Noel Grealish deliver their message.

Deputy Grealish took the opportunity during questions on promised legislation.

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GRETB Mervue training centre now offering 70 apprenticeship courses

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The GRETB is to host an open day at it’s training centre in Mervue on Thursday.

The event is part of European Vocational Skills Weeks, which showcases the best of vocational education opportunities at institutions across the continent.

The Mervue centre offers a wide range of full and part-time courses as well as apprenticeships in fields including BioPharma, Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Finance, Healthcare, Recruitment, Insurance, Logistics and Hospitality.

The open day will take place at the centre on Thursday – further information is available at EventBrite.ie and registration is required.

Area Training Manager Ken Farragher says there are 70 apprenticeships on offer across a growing range of industries – to hear more, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour

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