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Google shares fall on early publication of poor results

GOOGLE’S shares crashed by as much as 11pc this evening, after the web search giant published its results prematurely and exposed a 20pc fall in its profits.

Fitch latest agency to say outlook for Ireland improving

FITCH HAS become the second ratings agency within a week to signal an improved outlook for Ireland’s credit rating.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Fitch analyst Gergely Kiss said the agency could be approaching a point where it would remove its “negative” outlook on Ireland’s BBB+ rating.

He said, however, that it could still be some time before the rating itself would be improved. Such a move would rest on any deal the Government could secure with its euro partners on easing its debt burden.

Varadkar warns CIE that public transport system could collapse next year

Leo Varadkar has warned that the public transport system will collapse next year if the CIE group doesn’t get its house in order.

The Transport Minister says €36m in extra funding is still available for the company this year, but he Is “running out of pockets”.

The Minister has ordered CIE to develop a realistic business plan, implement cost reductions, sell-off non-core assets and secure new credit facilities.

Varadkar says the very survival of public transport depends on it: “This year I may be able to take money from one pocket and put it into the other, rob Peter to pay Paul, and kick the can down the road. But I’m running out of pockets and running out of road.

“If we don’t see progress on the four issues I’ve mentioned, I won’t be able to find the money to keep the companies operating by the middle to the end of next year.

“There will be no choice, public transport will then fail in Ireland

CSO figures show significant increase in number of people with no religion

According to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office about Census 2011, 277,237 of the population (6%) now describe themselves as having no religion, or being agnostic or atheist.

The number of people who describe themselves as Catholic is increasing but represents a smaller percentage of the total population.


Union pledges to do ‘whatever we have to’ after cuts in allowances announced

The country’s largest union has issued a warning to the Government regarding changes to public-sector allowances.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin announced last night that 88 payments will be scrapped for serving staff.

The full list has not been released, but it is thought to include a Gaeltacht allowance for nurses in Irish-speaking areas and a Locomotive allowance for senior gardaí who use their private cars for work.

They are set be abolished by the end of February.

However, Health Division Organiser at SIPTU Paul Bell said that they will not give up allowances they regard as part of their core salary.

“This is core pay, breach of Croke Park [Agreement], and whatever we have to do to protect our members’ pay we will do so,” he said.

“If people want to consolidate those allowances into pay, which we asked for many years ago, well then we’ll have that discussion.

“But we will not be getting into negotiations where we see the elimination or further cuts in people’s salary, that’s not where we are and we won’t be there.”

via Union pledges to do ‘whatever we have to’ after cuts in allowances announced |

via Union pledges to do ‘whatever we have to’ after cuts in allowances announced |

Report recommends child benefit reductions –

Child benefit payments could be cut to around €100 per child each month according to a report compiled by an advisory group to the Social Protection Minister.

The proposal could save up to €200m a year

The report seen by RTÉ‘s The Week in Politics programme recommends what it calls a two-tier child benefit system.

It would see a cut to the universal payment with top up payments then made available to low income families.

The report says this proposal could save up to €200m a year.

Currently, child benefit is paid at €140 per child for the first two children, the third child receives €148, while €160 is paid for the fourth and subsequent children.

In last year’s budget, the Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said the rates would be standardised to €140 for all children over the next two years.

via Report recommends child benefit reductions – RTÉ News.

via Report recommends child benefit reductions – RTÉ News.

Watchdog to tackle public-sector allowances after failed Howlin cull – National News –

THE Government‘s spending watchdog is to examine public-sector allowances after a failed review succeeded in abolishing just one.

With Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin admitting defeat in a planned expenses clean-up, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has offered to do the job.

PAC chairman John McGuinness said it already intends to call for a special hospital consultant pre-retirement bonus to be binned.

“The Committee of Public Accounts can do a very good job for the taxpayer by putting all allowance payments under public scrutiny, and that is what we intend to do on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Mr McGuinness said he would allow the committee to question the heads of public bodies on the payment of allowances.

It is seeking information from accounting officers on the extent of allowances paid to staff, the rate, their value and the date they commenced.

The move follows Mr Howlin’s report on the contentious allowance and expenses system.

He had planned to cut the bill by €75m this year but admitted failure, claiming only one of 1,100 allowances for existing staff could be scrapped – a €218 representational allowance for staff attending European Union meetings. That saved €3.5m.

via Watchdog to tackle public-sector allowances after failed Howlin cull – National News –

via Watchdog to tackle public-sector allowances after failed Howlin cull – National News –

Rabbitte orders RTE to tackle fat-cat salaries – National News –

Stern letter leaves no doubt excessive pay rates at indebted broadcaster will no longer be tolerated

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has ordered RTE, the highly indebted State broadcaster, to tackle the endemic problem of overly high salaries at the top of the organisation.

RTE is forecasting a deficit for 2012 of more than €50m once major restructuring costs and a raft of redundancies are factored in, and pressure is coming on director general Noel Curran to put the station on a “sustainable footing”.

Documents released to the Sunday Independent under the Freedom of Information Act include correspondence from Mr Rabbitte to RTE chairman Tom Savage ordering that the broadcaster adopt the Government’s new policy on reduced pay.

via Rabbitte orders RTE to tackle fat-cat salaries – National News –

via Rabbitte orders RTE to tackle fat-cat salaries – National News –

Yates keeping low profile after AIB bankruptcy bid – News –

GONE TO GROUND former Cabinet Minister Ivan Yates successfully fended off High Court action by AIB Bank last week to have him declared bankrupt.

But the Enniscorthy man who left his job as anchor on the Newstalk breakfast show earlier this year was not present in court and has been keeping a low profile.

Callers to Ivan Yates’ mobile phone are greeted with a message warning that the phone may be unattended for some time along with an indication that intends to change his number. His wife Deirdre confirmed last week that he was not contactable and gave no indication as to whether or not he was in Ireland

via Yates keeping low profile after AIB bankruptcy bid – News –

via Yates keeping low profile after AIB bankruptcy bid – News –

Frances Fitzgerald denies rushing children’s referendum wording – RTÉ News

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has denied suggestions that the Government is leaving it to the last minute to agree and publish the wording for the children’s referendum.

via Frances Fitzgerald denies rushing children’s referendum wording – RTÉ News.

via Frances Fitzgerald denies rushing children’s referendum wording – RTÉ News.

Rotten Island Ministerial Review- Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport

Leo “Express Mouth” the current Minister for Responsibility Evasion and Interference is presently enjoying a spectacular run of success  for evasion of responsibility. His ability to interfere in other departments has prompted our present Taoiseach to say that Express Mouths skill in this area is  absolutely stunning. Because of these achievements, an anonymous backbencher which happened to be Leo’s alter ego asserted we might have to give him the position of the spokesperson for all Government affairs.

Both the media and Government have applauded his capability to ring-fence and oversee broken promises. Even the invisible members of the opposition parties have admired his ability to rotate U-turns into full circles.

If the whispers are to be believed, Express Mouth in conjunction with, his fitness trainers  are working on a cunning plan that will eventually see Leo become overall party leader and Taoiseach of the country. The general opinion among the public is that Leo has delusions of grandeur.

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