An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has released a New Year's Day statement in which he acknowledges an important milestone for Ireland's social progress, economic prosperity and equality of opportunity. Varadkar emphasised the growing economy with an increase in the minimum wage to €9.80 an hour and the fall in poverty in Ireland over the last four years in a row. Today also marks the first day of legal abortions in Ireland with over 150 doctors working in the community available and contracted to help the 15 women, on average, who decide to end their pregnancies every day and who no longer have to leave the country to get the help they feel they need. Today, New Years Day 2019, marks several important milestones in our mission to bring social progress, economic prosperity and equality of opportunity to everyone in all parts of Ireland. The minimum wage rises to €9.80 an hour, it's highest ever level, up from €7.65 in 2011, an increase of nearly 30% and well ahead of … [Read more...] about ‘New Years Day 2019 marks several important milestones’
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A mum has revealed how amazed she is after giving birth to two festive babies in one year. Laura Aitchinson, 26, welcomed baby boy Carlos on New Year's Day 2016, before giving birth to second son Nicholas on Christmas day 11 months later. The young mum and her partner Lewis Killip also welcomed a third Yuletide child last week, with baby girl Lola Grace making an appearance just days before Christmas. Laura, from Cumbria, said: "I've always loved Christmas but I've no idea how I manage to keep on giving birth over the festive season. It certainly wasn't planned!" Lewis, 47, and Laura met online six years ago and decided to start trying for a baby. Laura sadly suffered two miscarriages, one of which was baby twins. She says: "When I fell pregnant a third time, we were both understandably very anxious, in case it happened again." But the pregnancy went well, with the baby due on January 5 2016. Instead, little Carlos made an appearance five days early – on New Year’s Day. … [Read more...] about Mum amazed after birthing Christmas and New Year Day babies in same year!
How did we get here? For a year that was meant to be defined by the UK ‘taking back control’, things really seem to have spiralled. It’s hard to know where to begin. There was a feeling in the independence referendum, in 2014, that referendums do funny things to people, and the ensuing reaction of the UK’s most senior politicians to the Brexit vote has done little to dispel that theory. In September 2017, the chair of the UK Statistics Authority had felt moved to write to then foreign secretary Boris Johnson to rebuke him for repeatedly claiming the UK sent the EU £350m per week and that the money would be freed up by Brexit. “I am surprised and disappointed that you have chosen to repeat the figure of £350m per week in connection with the amount that might be available for extra public spending when we leave the European Union,” said Sir David Norgrove. Things got worse for PM Theresa May in October, as her conference speech descended into … [Read more...] about Review of the political year: twelve months of Brexit chaos and constitutional conundrums
Amazon has declared its lowest UK corporation tax bill in five years as the web giant was accused of killing the high street. The online retailer paid £4.6million last year – or just over 6% on profits of £72million – despite the firm’s UK sales soaring by a quarter to £8.8billion in 2017. Meanwhile, British retailers with similar UK sales paid up to 20 times as much tax. One campaigner said: “We need to rebalance the system.” Amazon rang up record UK sales last year as its declared profits here soared three-fold – yet slashed its corporation tax bill by over a third. A Mirror investigation has found the online giant pays just a fraction of the corporation tax of its High Street rivals, levied at 19% on company profits Similarly sized retailers such as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Dixons Carphone declare paying over 20 times as much corporation tax while shelling out more than double on staff wages. Amazon’s biggest UK … [Read more...] about Amazon declares lowest tax bill in years one month after boss’ wealth revealed
IF you have hay fever, an upcoming surge in tree pollen is set to cause symptoms to kick in. But why is tree pollen so bad this year, and which months are usually worse for allergies? What is hay fever? Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, which can be released from a number of natural sources including trees or grass. Tree pollen is seasonal and can occur from February/March until May/June. Symptoms normally occur when the pollen count is above 50. Weather and biological factors can have an effect, but when it is warmer, allergies are typically stronger. You can check the pollen forecast for your area here. Why is hay fever so bad this year? Spring has finally sprung and given way to summer, with Brits enjoying warm, sunny days. Sufferers had a respite with a late start to spring, but allergen-packed trees began causing problems as spring kicked off. This boom in pollen particles could affect hay fever sufferers around the country, who will be at risk of streaming noses and … [Read more...] about Why is hay fever so bad this year, what months are worst for allergies and when are the pollen seasons?