Tuesday 20 August 2019

On the brink: Five casualties of a December General Election

Staff begin counting votes at Trinity College for the election of the new Seanad. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
Staff begin counting votes at Trinity College for the election of the new Seanad. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Now that Fianna Fail has expressed no confidence in Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald the prospect of a General Election in the coming weeks is firmly on the table. We look at what it will mean for the country (and Christmas festivities).

Tax cuts from Budget not yet passed

Budget 2018 was not hailed for its sweeping tax cuts but there were minor changes which are set to make a difference to people's pockets. Two rates of USC are to be cut.

The 2.5pc USC rate is to be reduced to 2pc and the 5pc USC rate is being dropped to 4.75pc.

But these changes have not yet been passed by the House.

Abortion Committee will collapse

As the current government pledged to hold a referendum on repealing the eighth amendment in 2018, the Oireachtas Committee chaired by Senator Catherine Noone has been teasing through the complicated issues involved in the debate, with the view to reporting back to both houses with its findings. If the government collapses, the committee collapses and casts a doubt on a 2018 referendum.

Brexit talks to settle question of Irish border scheduled for December 14-15

The question of the Irish Border and what it will look like post-Brexit is due to be settled at talks scheduled to take place on December 13 in order to allow Brexit negotiations to progress.

Discussions in October broke down when UK proposals on expat rights and the Irish border failed the EU test.

However, confidence had been growing that the issue could be adequately dealt with in mid-December., with Ireland retaining a strong position in the negotiations.

Pension hike from Budget

A planned €5 increases to the state pension due to come into effect from last week of March 2018 may also be delayed if the country is facing into a general election.


Christmas time, mistletoe and wine - and politicians knocking on the door. There'll be no Christmas carolers spreading festive cheer at your door, but shivering politicians begging for your vote. It isn't exactly the stuff Christmas dreams are made of, is it?

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