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Ministers warn Cabinet colleagues to rein in spending

The Cabinet has been warned by the Finance and Public Expenditure Ministers that spending must be reined in as it is already well ahead of where it was this time last year.

Ministers were told that while tax is increasing at a modest level, spending is running at a much quicker pace.

The hard-hitting message from Michael McGrath and Paschal Donohoe was described as a “shot across the bow,” as ministers were urged to take a more cautious approach to expenditure.

It comes as multiple promises around spending and tax cuts were made at the recent Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael party conferences.

Government sources are indicating the need for the Coalition to get back to basics ahead of the summer economic statement.

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan recently criticised what he said was a bad tradition in Irish politics where parties make big promises before budgets.

Taoiseach Simon Harris speaking to reporters on his way in to today’s Cabinet meeting

Speaking on his way into the Cabinet, the Taoiseach said today’s meeting will also discuss extending the waiver on development levies and the stability programme update.

Asked about the issues on lack of training and resources for policing far right protests raised at the Garda Representative Association conference, Simon Harris said he will be asking the Garda Commissioner: “Is the legislation that we have adequate and if it is, why is it not being enforced in all cases effectively, or is the legislation not adequate and do we need to change the law?”

He added that he has huge respect for gardaí and for the work they do and he fully accepts there is always more that can be done when it comes to resourcing and that any request for training should be taken seriously.

€100 million for student accommodation

Over 1,000 student accommodation places to be added

Minister for Higher Education Patrick O’Donovan will bring a memo to the Cabinet detailing the allocation of €100 million for student accommodation.

The Department of Higher Education will focus on adding 1,014 student accommodation places across three universities, including 493 in UCD, 405 in DCU and 116 in Maynooth University.

A third of all of this accommodation will be for students availing of SUSI grants or from low-income families.

DCU and Maynooth University expect to have builders on site this year, while work in UCD is likely to start early in 2025.

38,408 new homes constructed

Separately, Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman will bring proposals to the Government to progress the plan to bring childminders into the National Childcare Scheme, while Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will update the Cabinet on the Housing For All plan.

He will tell colleagues that 38,408 homes were built in the 12-month period up to the end of March this year.

Speaking on his way into the Cabinet meeting, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said the economy is in good health and inflation is continuing to fall and it is expected to average 2% this year.

Mr McGrath said he will present the latest update on the stability programme, predicting that incomes will rise in real terms this year and there will be an improvement in living standards for households.

On corporation tax he said “we are moving into a new era where receipts will be more of a steady state rather than dramatic 30, 40, 50 percent increases”.

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