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National Minimum Wage Increased By 30c Per Hour

Following a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission, the government have welcomed proposals to increase the National Minimum Wage by 30c per hour as and from January 2018.

The principal function of the Low Pay Commission is to examine and make recommendations to government without creating significant adverse consequences for employment or competitiveness.

However, if employees are in receipt of food and/or accommodation (known as board & lodgings) from an employer, e.g. au pairs and hotel employees, this may be taken into account, when calculating any new minimum wage increase.

It is estimated that some 120,000 workers should benefit from this rise; increasing the minimum wage to €9.55 per hour or approximately a €12 increase for a full 40 hour working week.

Seen by low paid workers as a small step in the right direction; this pay augmentation marks the fourth increase in the minimum wage since 2011, and a further step towards a commitment in the Programme for Government, aimed at a minimum wage of €10.50.

Recently, the ‘Living Wage’ was set at €11.70 per hour, up €0.20 on last years €11.50. The living wage therefore remains €2.15 per hour higher than the proposed national Minimum Wage, and is €1.20 higher than the commitment given to low paid staff, in the Programme for Government.

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Who Hath Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear

“Who hath ears to hear, let him hear,”  –  Gospel of St. Mark Ch. 4: V. 9.

One afternoon an Irish politician was riding along in his chauffeur driven Ford Excursion, 14 Seater Stretched Limo, when he spotted two homeless men sitting on the roadside apparently eating grass.  Having ordered his driver to stop, he got out of his vehicle to further investigate.

He addressed both men, “Why are you eating grass?”

“We don’t have any money for food”, the homeless men both replied in unison “We have to eat grass”.

“Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you”, the TD said. “But sir, we both have wives and a total of 12 children with us”, stated the homeless men, “You can see them over there, starving under those trees”.

“Bring them along also” the TD replied.

Having crammed 4 children into the vehicles trunk / boot, the other 12 homeless individuals climbed aboard the interior of the plush 14 seater.

Once under-way, one of the homeless men turned to the TD sitting up front with the driver and in expressing his gratitude stated, “Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you”.

The TD replied “Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place – I didn’t get a chance to cut the one acre of lawn to the rear of my home so far this year, and the unspoilt grass there is almost one foot high!”

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Planning Granted For Redevelopment of Cashel Palace Hotel

Cashel Palace Hotel, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

It has been confirmed by Deputy Mr Michael Lowry TD, that planning for the redevelopment of the Cashel Palace Hotel, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, has, this week, been granted in full.

Readers will remember that Trevester Ltd; a joint venture between the Magnier family and a group of International investors, acquired the valuable property in late 2015; which had closed without warning in 2014.

This development group also acquired the famous Cashel pub ‘Mikey Ryan’s’; which is adjacent to the hotel gardens. Refurbishment work has already started on the pub, which is due to reopen in the 3rd quarter of 2017, and will employ 25 people.

The completion of this project will ensure that the iconic Cashel Palace will once again become the heartbeat of the town as a vibrant, high quality, service provider for both locals and visiting tourists alike.

This welcome development, when fully complete will provide in total 61 bedrooms, together with top grade function facilities, a Spa & Leisure Centre, restaurants and hotel Taverns.

The construction phase will involve 100 people working on the project, which will take 18 to 24 months to fully complete.  On completion, the hotel will employ a further 100 employees; 40 of which will be retained on a full-time basis.

In addition to the expansion of the hotel, the proposal will deliver a 3-acre town park as set out in the Cashel Development Plan and further enable the reinstatement of the famed ‘Bishop’s Walk’, allowing connectivity from the Rock of Cashel to the town centre.

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Thurles Order Of Malta Annual Collections

Thurles Order of Malta Ambulance CorpsMr Gerard Fogarty, Parnell Street, Thurles reports:-

Order of Malta Collections.
Order of Malta Ireland Ambulance Corps Thurles would like to thank those who contributed so generously to their annual collection recently, in the Thurles, Gortnahoe-Glengoole and Holycross-Ballycahill parishes.

Collections will be taken up next weekend after all masses in the Moycarkey / Littleton / Two-Mile-Borris parish. It should be noted that all funds are used locally for the upkeep of the unit and towards its new ambulance.

Members of Thurles Order of Malta Ambulance Corps and its Cadet Corps, with colleagues from Nenagh, Cashel, Limerick and Dundrum, pictured here in Semple Stadium on last weekend.

Officer-In-Charge Ms Catherine O’Loughlin has expressed her great pride in the unit, this week, after a very busy weekend in the local GAA calendar.

Ms O’Loughlin stated, “Our members are exceptionally  well trained and thankfully all the matches went off without any major incident. We have recently completed our own on-site operational training, in Semple Stadium, to be prepared for any future emergency incident that might occur. We are grateful to the public for their generous support, allowing us to continuously upgrade our emergency ambulance fleet and equipment, and to keep them taxed etc, and fully maintained in pristine condition.”

Recent difficulties with our unit telephone have now been rectified and we can be contacted about ‘First Aid Courses’; ‘Event Cover’ and ‘Transport’, as per usual, on Mobile Telephone No. 087 2390111.

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Living Wage Increases By 20 Cent Per Hour

The 2017 ‘Living Wage’ has been set at €11.70 per hour, up €0.20 on the €11.50 set last year.

The living wage is defined as the average hourly gross salary that a full-time worker would need to earn to ensure sufficient food, clothing, basic personal care, and health costs, while being able to meet a friend for coffee occasionally, maybe download a song from iTunes, or take a trip to the cinema a couple of times a year.

This years 20 cents increase is brought about by cost of living increases and changes in the taxation system over the past year, with the current housing crisis, and increases in rent levels, being the main reason given for the increase.

With the exception of heating oil, the cost of food, electricity, natural gas, clothing, and health insurance all saw reductions in 2017, while changes to the Universal Social Charge (USC) increased net pay for all persons earning the living wage.

Initially set up in 2014, the ‘Living Wage Rate’ is refreshed in July of each year, and employers can choose to pay their staff the higher rate, which is set each year by a group comprising of researchers and academics, who calculate what people need to earn to have a basic standard of living.

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