Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sinn Féin accuses Government of not consulting public on Lisbon

Sinn Fein is accusing the Taoiseach of consulting with his European colleagues, but not with the Irish public, on the proposed second referendum on Lisbon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Veiled Lisbon threat from German Ambassador

THE German ambassador to Ireland sparked a new row over Lisbon last night as the EU planned a €1.8m information blitz.

German Ambassador Christian Pauls warned that the country would "throw away its future" if it voted no a second time -- as the European Commission planned an information campaign to encourage a 'Yes' in the Lisbon II vote.

'No' campaigners claim the money will be spent on EU "propaganda".

Friday, March 13, 2009

€20m in child benefits sent abroad

The Public Accounts Committee has heard that €20m in child benefit payments are being sent to support children living abroad.

Department of Social and Family Affairs Secretary General Bernadette Lacey said it was supporting 10,000 children abroad and this would continue until the child is 18 years of age provided that one parent is living and working in Ireland.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Libertas launches as a political party in the UK

The anti-Lisbon Treaty group Libertas has launched itself as a political party in the UK.

The party has said it will run candidates there in the European Parliament elections on June 4, as well as elsewhere in the EU.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Report accuses RTÉ of pro-Lisbon bias

RTÉ’s coverage of the Lisbon treaty was heavily biased in favour of the yes side, a report carried out by an anti-Lisbon group has claimed.

The study by the Campaign Against the EU Constitution (CAEUC), claims 63% of the contributors to RTÉ news items focused on the Lisbon treaty were supporting a yes vote.

Three television programmes (Six One News, Nine News and Questions & Answers) and three radio programmes (Morning Ireland, News At One and Drivetime News) were analysed via RTÉ’s website from January 1 to June 14, 2008.

The study found that out of 510 contributors to these programmes, 320 (63%) favoured a yes vote, while 190 (37%) favoured a no vote.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Latest figures show 10.4% unemployed

Brian Cowen told the Dáil this morning that more than 354,000 people were on the Live Register in February, up from around 326,000 in January.

The increase pushes the standardised unemployment rate up to 10.4%, compared to 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Problems with rural integration - report

Not enough is being done to integrate foreign nationals into rural communities, according to a new report published today.

The report, Reaching Out, which has been compiled by Irish Rural Link, finds that prejudice about race and identity is a huge problem for people from abroad living in Ireland.


Monday, March 2, 2009

€4.5m in childcare allowance for children living abroad

The Government paid €4.5m in childcare allowances for children living outside of Ireland last year, new figures reveal.

The overseas Early Childcare Supplement payments quadrupled between 2007 and 2008 from €1.1m to €4.5m, the Department of Social and Family Affairs has confirmed.

This year, non-resident children are expected to account for €7m of the childcare payments because a massive backlog of arrears is slowly being cleared.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Social and Family Affairs said the claims relating to children residing outside of Ireland are complex because it is necessary to cross-check details with European authorities. Hence, significant backlogs and delays have occurred.

When the childcare payment was launched in 2006, it emerged that children of migrant workers who are resident in their home country were entitled to the annual €1,000 payment, even though it was designed to help spefically with childcare costs.