The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called on the Government to increase public spending and scrap planned tax cuts in its pre-budget submission. Congress also said that increases in employer PRSI should be used to bolster Government revenue, once the economic effects of the pandemic start to fade after 2022.
Meanwhile, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (Ifac) warns of tax hikes, and says the Budget “avoids hard choices”.
The Irish Nurse and Midwives Organisation has said the resignation of three senior figures who were attempting to drive reforms of the health service has sparked huge concern among frontline workers.
Almost half (46%) of Irish workers did not take their full entitlement of annual leave last year, according to new research commissioned by Fáilte Ireland. This year, one third of the working population won’t take their full holidays, or are unsure whether they will take it, the research also found.
It comes as Fáilte Ireland ramps up its ‘Keep Discovering’ marketing campaign, encouraging people to take their remaining leave and book Irish breaks in the coming months.
Not industrial news, but an opinion poll carried out by The Journal found that one in five people in Ireland have distanced themselves from family or friends due to a disagreement about the Covid-19 pandemic.
More on the Covid front, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tony Holohan has said the reintroduction of Covid-19 measures “cannot be fully ruled out” in the future due to the uncertain nature of the virus. Holohan and other members of NPHET are due to speak before the Oireachtas Health Committee today with the CMO set to outline an “uncertain trajectory” for the virus despite “very high uptake” of vaccines.
Some lighter news to finish off, scientists have recently discovered a bird that is able to memorise and reproduce sounds and speech. It seems to be only the fourth instance that vocal learning of this type was shown in a bird, previously only thought to be present in songbirds, hummingbirds and parrots.