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€46.4m In Welfare Payments Recovered By Department Of Social Protection.

Dept. Social Protection

So far in 2022, up to the end of July last, some €46.4m in social welfare payments have been recovered by the Department of Social Protection.

From January 1st 2022 to the end of July, 2022 the department said it carried out almost 300,000 control reviews across its various supports, with 36 cases to date having been finalised in court, and with convictions secured in 30 of these legal cases.

The Department is now asking people, latter who wrongly received Pandemic Unemployment Payments (PUP), to arrange a return of same.

As of the end of July 2022, approximately €12.6m in PUP supports had been repaid, with some 10,700 of these having been repaid in full. An estimated €33.9m has still not been returned by those who were overpaid; some of which are understood to have been deliberate fraudulent claims.


Paschal Donohoe Accuses Hospitality Representatives Of Price Gouging.

Finance Minister, Mr Paschal Donohoe has demonstrated his displeasure at greedy hoteliers for price gouging their customers. 

Mr Donohoe met with representatives of the hospitality sector which included the Irish Hotels Federation; Irish Tourism Industry Confederation; Licensed Vintners Association; Vintners’ Federation of Ireland and the Restaurants Association of Ireland, for a requested pre-Budget meeting.

Tipperary Tourism

The above named representative organisations had gone into the meeting seeking to retain the lower existing 9% Vat rate; a reduction in excise duty on alcohol, and a targeted financial support package to help with the cost of energy increases.

Representatives were quickly reprimanded by Mr Donohoe; latter who informed them that the Government had provided strong supports for hotels in recent years. Same supports had gotten them through Covid-19 he stated, and he was therefore extremely disappointed that value for money for those looking to holiday in Ireland had not been forthcoming.

Finance Minister Donohoe made it known that that charging over €500 for a room with an American football game in the Capital, was not acceptable and politicians were now looking for the 9% Vat rate to be increased due to exorbitant accommodation prices. It is understood that there was a muted acceptance by some representatives that some hotels were indeed involved in price gouging.

In May 2022, Mr Donohoe had extended the special 9% Vat rate, latter introduced in November 2020, for a further six months, at an estimated revenue loss to the State of €250m: to assist businesses that had been severely impacted by harsh, but necessary, Covid restrictions.


Government To Consider Windfall Tax On Energy Companies.

Micheál Martin

The Irish Coalition Government will consider introducing a windfall tax on energy companies in next September’s Budget, according to An Taoiseach Mr Micheál Martin.

Mr Martin stated that while the Coalition want to see more investment being made in renewable energy, it also is very much aware that significant profits are being made by energy companies, making it necessary to examine the issue of a windfall tax.

Mr Martin also said that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)is an option that has to be considered in light of the energy security crisis brought about by the war in Ukraine. The Programme for Government allows for LNG but without the need for fracking.

Mr Martin said that strong tax returns will allow an opportunity to take pressure off people in September’s Budget. He confirmed that the Government is presently preparing a comprehensive Budget package that would focus on tax relief and how to reduce the cost of living for Irish families, particularly those with children.


Thurles Walking & Cycling Scheme.

Tipperary County Council intends to develop the Thurles Walking and Cycling Scheme, which is expected to deliver a pedestrian and cyclist shared path between Thurles Train Station and Bohernamona Road that will provide connectivity to schools and collages along the route, with a designated bridge crossing over the River Suir, north of the existing bridge.

Envisaged Pedestrian and Cyclist Shared Path

This scheme consists of the development of a walking and cycling route across the northern boundary of the schools in Thurles, which will naturally change the mode of travel to and from local schools.
As readers are aware, the majority of the schools are located on the northern side of Thurles and are in close proximity to each other, however linkages are constrained by the River Suir.

Tipperary County Council is now inviting members of the public to have their say on the route options presented.
These route options are now available for inspection:
• On the Tipperary County Council’s website, (somewhat vaguely) HERE.
• At Thurles/Templemore Municipal District Office, Civic Offices, Castle Avenue, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Documents may be inspected during normal office hours, 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday from tomorrow Friday August 5th 2022, to Monday September 12th, 2022 inclusive, (excluding Bank Holidays).


Submissions can be made using the online feedback form available on the Virtual Project Exhibition website accessible at www.tipperarycoco.ie
or by email to thurleswcs@csea.ie, or by post addressed to: F.A.O. Thurles Walking & Cycling Scheme Team, Clifton Scannell Emerson Associates Consulting Engineers, 3rd Floor, The Highline, Bakers Point, Pottery Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, A96 KW29.

Closing date for receipt of submissions: 4:30pm on Monday 12th September 2022.


First Ever Large Seizure Of Counterfeit Coins In Ireland.

The public are being warned to be aware of the possible circulation of fake €2 coins, following a seizure by Gardai of counterfeit currency with an apparent face value of €2,920.

Gardaí confirm that the seizure is the first large seizure of counterfeit coins here in Ireland.

During the seizure last July, one person was arrested/charged and has already appeared before the court last month.

We also understand that bank assets to the value €73,986.62, have also been frozen.

While it is difficult to identify suspect coins the following is advised:-

  • Use a magnifying glass, to compare suspected coins with known genuine coins.
  • Suspected coins offer poor quality image detail. Suspected coins offer a different coloured ring or core and are missing edge lettering.
  • Coins are a different size, thickness, diameter and weight, or are found to have incorrect spelling and font.
  • Some counterfeit coins will bend.
  • Genuine €2 coins are slightly magnetic and by using a magnet you should be able to lift the coin up, before shaking the coin off the magnet with relative ease.