The Week that was
Published 16/01/2016 | 02:30
A look back at the week's events.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is pinning Fine Gael's re-election prospects on a new cut to the deeply unpopular Universal Social Charge (USC) that will leave workers up to €500 better off next year. In a major pre-election pledge, Mr Kenny will announce his intention to cut the top rate of USC by at least 1pc in October's Budget in a clear bid to court the support of low- and middle-income earners.
Insurance companies are now scrutinising applications for cover for homes and businesses up to half a kilometre from water. Thousands of property owners are already being refused cover, even though State-funded flood defences have been put in place, it has emerged.
UP to 40 individuals identified as either Isil supporters or jihadi fighters are being monitored by Garda and Army intelligence units, the Irish Independent has learned. Sources have said the majority of the suspects under surveillance are involved in recruiting and providing logistic support to the extremist terror group. Above: an Isil fighter holds a flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq.
Struggling parents are being courted with a tempting offer of €2-an-hour childcare in the Labour Party's latest General Election promise. The party, led by Joan Burton, is offering a State-subsidised scheme for children aged from nine months to 12 years, for 40 hours a week.
Former trade unions boss David Begg has claimed that a €20,000-a-year pay package for his role on a state board is "not exactly a crock of gold". The Labour leader, Tánaiste Joan Burton, came under fire within her own party for bypassing the normal process, which is run through the Public Appointments Service.