Restoring Hope to the Hopeless, Episcopal Church Identifies with Several Ebola Survivals, Victims in…

first_imgIn obedience to the Holy Book the Bible, which speaks of being thy brother’s keeper and lending a helping hand to the less fortunate and afflicted, the Episcopal Church of Liberia has distributed several food and non-food materials to Ebola survivors and victims in lower Margibi County.The Episcopal Church donation exercise was done in collaboration with the US-based Episcopal Relief and Development and the United Society, a Norwegian-based humanitarian organization.The distribution was carried out last Thursday to Ebola survivals and victims in Dolo Town, Lower Margibi. Dolo Town, it may  be recalled, was recently quarantined for about a month after several individuals contracted the deadly Ebola Virus disease (EVD) and several others were showing signs and symptoms of the disease.During the course of the quarantine, several residents complained of the shortage of food and other necessities, which was primarily because people could not travel in or out of the area.Government later lifted the quarantine, but residents were still facing the effects of the restriction exercise.Rev. Fr. Victor M. King, who led the Episcopal team to the town, said, “This is why [our church]  has come to intervene.  We want to help the survivors and victims with the little we have, so that they may start their lives over after such a tense period, during which the people were quarantined.”The items distributed by the Church included, Argo Oil, Rice, soap, Clorox, sardine, buckets as well as flyers to educate them on the prevention of the disease.Rev. Fr. King, who spoke on behalf of the head of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia, Most Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, who is also archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa, said the exercise was intended to buttress the effort of government in its Ebola fight in the country.Rev. King told the gathering that the Episcopal Church is deeply concerned about the Ebola situation in the country, and as such, ECL is ready to go beyond the border to help rescue people who have being affected by the disease.According to him,  “the Episcopal Churches does not wait for people to die before extending a helping hand to them, but they are there to help at all times.” Rev. Fr. King, who is also the Archdeacon of the South-Western  Liberia, told the survivors and victims that all is not  lost. “You can count your blessing and name them one by one, because people that went there did not make it, but for you, you made it and you have the reason to tell God “Thank you.”Moreover, Fr. King urged the survivors and victims to worship God because it was He that saved their lifes.For her part, the program coordinator of the Episcopal Church of Liberia, Madam Agnes Wilson Perkins, told the victims and survivors that the church was not only donating food but they are also engaged  in creating an awareness on the prevention of the disease.Madam Perkins narrated that the mission of the Episcopal Church is to travel in the fifteen counties to distribute food and non-food items to Ebola survivors and victims.According to her, the disease is now a common enemy in Liberia and as a church, they are not only preaching about Ebola trough sermons but also preaching about the disease through the development of the human mind.The Episcopal Church of Liberia program coordinator put the total cost of the items at US$20,000 which will cover Cape Mount, Bomi and River Cess, among others.Meanwhile, Ebola survivors and victims of Dolo Town used the occasion to thank the Episcopal Church of Liberia and its partners for the gesture.In a related development, the Episcopal Church of Liberia has started a two-week intensive free nutritional meal program for Ebola patients at the Island Clinic Ebola Treatment Unit in Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Teenage pregnancy high in Indigenous villages – UNICEF report

first_imgThe United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has uprooted a number of findings in their studies that were conducted on the women and children of Guyana’s hinterland areas. However, one of the main alarms was the increase in the number of cases in teenage pregnancy among many young girls from these remote communities. According to the final report, it was estimated that one in every four births occurred to a mother who is younger than 16 years old. When looked at from a wider scale, the collected data shows that 21 per cent of adolescent girls from Indigenous communities have already begun child bearing, a number which is six per cent higher than the national average.Additionally, in the Moruca sub-district, out of the 350 births that were recorded in 2016, approximately 90 were born to adolescent mothers.In their conclusion to address this matter, UNICEF has deduced that the most liable cause for the high birth rates among young girls is due to the absence of women empowerment in these areas. It is very difficult for women in those areas to access contraceptives since they do not have the authority to make those decisions. Additionally, the high levels of violence in the home are not reported, since it is seen as a normal occurrence that has been happening for generations.The report states, “They have smaller salaries than their husbands, few are in leadership positions and they are constantly suffering at home and in society, among other challenges that they face. In sum, they are seen by many as second class citizens, stuck to old perceptions about their roles in the community.”It was also indicated that few women are active participants in the decision-making process in the villages. Out of the 250 Indigenous villages scanned in 2017, only 11 had a female Toshao. UNICEF has noted that there is the need for self-empowerment discussions among all women of these communities.Meanwhile, incest in the household is an act that has been prevalent for some time now and it spans between not only father-daughter abuses, but also among siblings. It was indicated that these cases are never reported. In fact, the Police within the communities have heard words on the street about the frequency of incest in communities but it would seem as though that is habitual among relatives.Final deductions conclude that the Indigenous people of Guyana “live in deep vulnerability, with historical changes that are rooted in the social, economic, administrative and political structures of the country”.last_img read more

D Division Christmas security plans taking shape

first_imgPolice in D Division (West Bank Demerara-East Bank Essequibo) have begun exercising its Christmas plans, as eight Police booths have already been placed along the busy areas for extra protection for shoppers and residents.This was revealed by a senior Police Officer in the Division on Saturday.According to the officer, the booths will be a resting place for the several Police Officers who will be deployed during the festive season. Among the areas where booths were placed are Vreed-en-Hoop, Anna Catherina, De Willem, Tuschen and Parika.This year, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) promises a safer holiday season as it is already gearing to deploy more officers to patrol busy areas to ensure safety. Patrols will be done in the various divisions using vans, bicycles and even foot patrol.A Division (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara), which is usually the busiest division, has already revealed plans to beef up security.Just last week, Commander of A Division, Marlon Chapman, said Police patrols around the city will be boosted in a bid to ensure a secure shopping environment.According to the Divisional Commander, foot patrol will be conducted from 07:00h to 13:00h and 12:00h to 19:00h by the various responsible officers. Vehicular and motorcycle patrol will be conducted on a 24-hour basis.Chapman nonetheless noted that these patrols will be heightened from December 22 to 24 and 29 to 31 to allow for safe “late shopping”.Meanwhile, to reduce traffic congestion, Traffic Chief Linden Isles said two crash trucks will be towing away illegally parked vehicles, among others.For this exercise, the GPF will be working along with DJs, City Constabulary, youth organisations, taxi services, the business community and several other stakeholders.last_img read more

Govt halts granting more oil concessions until 2020

first_img– designing new model contract to use for future PSAsAlthough a large number of international companies have already indicated their interest in exploring the remaining oil blocks offshore Guyana, these companies will have to wait a while longer as the Government has ceased granting concessions until early 2020.This was revealed at a press conference held by the Department of Energy in the Ministry of Presidency on Thursday. Head of the Department, Dr Mark Bynoe said they are engaged in developing a new model contract to use for future Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs).“We do not envisage a possible licensing round, maybe till early 2020 and that’s being realistic in terms of where we are going,” he said at his first press conference since assuming his role about three months ago when asked toFrom left: Oil and Gas Advisor to the Department of Energy, Matthew Wilks; Head of the Department of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe; and Communications Director at the Ministry of the Presidency, Mark Archer at Thursday’s press conference at the Ministry of the Presidencyprovide a timeline for this new arrangement.Dr Bynoe went on to explain that in addition to designing the new model contract that will be used for future PSAs, they will be elaborating a model tool kit to allow probabilistic scenario modelling of current and future PSA contracts that involves Guyana.“The Department recognises the need for strong legislative framework, but in doing so, it understands the need for us to first review where we are. In keeping with this, the Department is reviewing the current legal and regulatory framework for the petroleum sector, inclusive of the 1986 Petroleum Act,” Dr Bynoe said, while responding to media operatives when questioned.On the other hand, Oil and Gas Advisor to the Department of Energy, Matthew Wilks also weighed in on the issue, explaining that the model contracts are the basis for negotiations and are set in the context of the time in which they are introduced, but evolves overtime.“So, a model contract that is used to try and attract good investment at the onset of the petroleum industry is very different from a model contract as the industry matures and very different from a very mature industry,” he explained.This move is in response to criticisms the Government has received over the current Petroleum Sharing Agreement with ExxonMobil and other companies regarding the oil sector. Civil society groups, critics, analysts and commentators have all be advocating for the Government through the Department put better and stronger measures in place for such agreements.De-riskedThe Energy Department Head made reference to the Canje Block which is referred to as Block C, stating, “We do understand that there is significant interest in Block C and we are not anxious to allocate Block C just yet until we have these complementary pieces in place.”Dr Bynoe also debunked claims that with the operation of major oil companies such an ExxonMobil and Total in the offshore, the basins are de-risked. As a matter of fact, he claimed that a small portion has been de-risked, and not the other way around.According to him, ExxonMobil has done some work but there are still significant areas in deep water that have not been de-risked. In fact, he said there has no activity onshore. But the Government is now looking to offer data packages to stimulate investor interest.Another major concern regarding the PSA between Guyana and ExxonMobil was also brought up during the press conference which dealt with the stabilisation clause. This clause is commonly inserted in contracts between investors and host nations to protect investors from future changes in the law that affect the economics of the project.Wilks explained that the weaker the complementary legislation, the greater the demand for stabilisation clauses. As such, in going forward, Dr Bynoe said Government should seek to strengthen the supporting legislation, and possibly reviewing the current stabilisation clause.The Department of Energy was established in August when President David Granger shifted the responsibility for the petroleum sector from the Ministry of Natural Resources to the Ministry of the Presidency. The move to establish a Department follows a proposal submitted by Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, to have a specialised attention placed on the petroleum sector, given the complexity of tasks that exist with the administering of such resources.The Department plans to work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency, Guyana Revenue Authority and Auditor General’s Office. It is expected to eventually become a full Government Ministry. At present, Government is looking to recruit more persons to staff the Department with specialists that could make it robust and efficient in handling oil matters.last_img read more

Huskies hit the road after bye last weekend

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John Huskies are back on the ice tonight for their first game in nearly two weeks.The Huskies will be heading to Dawson Creek to take on the Jr. Canucks at the Memorial Arena.The Huskies are 2-1-1 against Dawson Creek this season, most recently losing 5-4 at the Memorial Arena on January 7th thanks to a buzzer-beater by Wesley Shipton less than a second before the end of the third.- Advertisement -The puck drops tonight at 8:00, and tonight’s game can be watched live on the Huskies’ Ustream page. The Huskies will also be on the road on Saturday night for a game against the Fairview Flyers. That game begins at 8:30. The Huskies’ Ustream page can be found here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/huskies-hockey.last_img

FoJo workshop registration now open

first_imgThis workshop will also introduce participants to the equipment needed to create a dynamic sound design, on any budget, and in any sized venue.By the end of this workshop, the participants will have the tools needed to produce their own sound designs with confidence.◆ Friday August 8th, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., The Space◆ Class Limit: 20Advertisement ◆ Please bring: socks, gym clothes, water bottle◆ No Experience necessaryProjection: What`s That All About? Led by Jordan Watkins.Projection design has become a ubiquitous design element in Drama and Dance.This workshop will cover a wide breadth of projection design techniques, from macro to micro, including the hardware and technology that these designs utilize.The workshop will cover the use of non conventional projection surfaces and materials.Participants will be illuminated as to how projection design can be shuttered to fit their artistic practice. The workshop will also cover the basics of projector technology, including how to pick out a projector.Participants will learn practical techniques for sourcing and creating artistic content, and will leave this workshop will an understanding of how projection design works, and the confidence to incorporate this type of design into their own artistic practice.◆ Saturday August 9th, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., The Space◆ Class Limit: 20◆ 3 hours◆ Please bring a laptop if you have one, if not, bring paper and pen.◆ No experience necessaryQLab, led by Jordan Watkins.Qlab is a playback program that has taken the performing arts world by storm in the past five years.Qlab is a powerful tool for crafting how video, sound, and other special effects are incorporated into a live performance.This workshop is highly recommended for participants that have already taken a sound or projection design workshop.No experience is necessary, but a keen interest and intuition for computers is recommended.Participants will walk away from this workshop with the training to utilize one of the most advanced and wide-spread programs available today.Qlab gives any user the opportunity to make their design look and sound like a professional production.◆ Sunday August 10th, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., The Space◆ Class Limit: 20◆ 3 hours◆ Please bring a lap top, if you have one.◆ No experience necessary, however, the class will utilize things learned in Sound Design and Projection DesignActing with a Focus on the Audition, led by Brianna Wiens.This course will cover how to prepare an audition monologue, as you’ll be given tips and tricks for getting the audition panel to like you.The course will touch on the Guideposts in Michael Shurtliff’s Audition, which  FoJo say is “about the best book you could pick up to get better at auditioning.”The workshop will give you a chance to work on a monologue of your own as well as see what everyone else is doing, because as FoJo puts it, “we often learn best by stepping outside of the work for a moment.”◆ Sunday August 10th, 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., The Space◆ Class limit: 15◆ 5 hours◆ Please bring a memorized monologue◆ No experience necessaryUnconventional Theatre, led by Brianna Wiens.This workshop is all about how to create interesting and dynamic work outside of the conventional confines of a theatre.There will be a team-based creation portion so be ready to work, not just take notes.◆ Monday August 11th, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 pm, The Move Dance Centre◆ Class limit: 15◆ 4 hours◆ Please bring a piece of inspiration◆ No experience necessaryNot-For-Beginners Improv, led by Brianna Wiens.If you know what blocking, wimping, making offers, and being a supportive scene-mate means in terms of improv, if you can set a location, determine characters, and raise the stakes in the first thirty seconds of a scene , this is probably a good workshop for you.This workshop is not an introductory course, but a “hit-the-ground-running-and-try-some-crazy-stuff” course.◆Tuesday August 12th, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., The Space◆ Class limit: 15◆ 3 hours◆ An understanding of the basic principles of improvisation are requiredPhysical Theatre Training: Extraordinary Circumstances, Led by Brennan Campbell.Performers engage with incredible amounts of pressure on a daily basis and are expected to meet the challenge head on, every time.How do you remain present in our work when everything goes wrong?This workshop builds off of the previous Physical Theatre Training workshop to explore the “body in crisis”.Utilizing plenty of surprises and a few obstacles, you’ll examine how a performer may graciously “enter the challenge”.◆ Wednesday August 13th, 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., The Move Dance Centre◆ Class Limit: 12◆ 4 hours◆ Please bring: socks, gym clothes, water bottle◆ It is recommended that you have also taken the the Introduction to Physical Theatre Training on Saturday August 9th, but not absolutely necessary.Basic Unarmed Stage Combat, led by Chalene ScottThis is an introduction to staging violence, covering the basics like slaps, punches, kicks to the groin, running into walls or doors, hair pulls, and more.Be prepared to be physical with your fellow participants.◆ Thursday August 14th, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., The Move Dance Centre◆ Class limit: 14◆ 4 hours◆ Please bring gym clothes and a water bottle◆ No experience necessaryDirecting for the Director, led by Chalene ScottThis directing workshop will not be an acting coach workshop, but for the director alone.You’ll explore everything from how to find the right script and pre-production, dealing with tricky actors, and keys for a successful dress rehearsal.You’ll be talking about a lot of ideas and tools that will be best applied to a script or project so bring one along, if you have it.◆ Friday August 15th, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., The Space◆ Class Limit: 16◆ 3.5 hours◆ Please bring paper and pen and a script you have been thinking about or are interested in (not absolutely necessary, but will give you something to connect with instead of applying the concepts to thin air.)◆ No experience necessaryPhysical Theatre Training: Creative Practice, led by Brennan Campbell.As the final workshop in the Physical Theatre Training series, you’ll re-engage with The Suzuki Method of Actor Training and The Viewpoints while pressing into new territory.In this workshop, you’ll examine how a variety of artists may collaboratively generate new work.Participants’ imagination and creativity will be challenged as the workshop will explore how to stage ideas using only time, space, and the body.◆ Saturday August 16th, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., The Move Dance Centre◆ Class Limit: 12◆ 4 hours◆ Please bring: socks, gym clothes, water bottle, notebook, and writing utensil◆ It is recommended that you have also taken the the Introduction to Physical Theatre Training on Saturday August 9th, and the Extraordinary Circumstances workshop on Wednesday August 13th, but not absolutely necessary.Cost to attend FoJo workshops:1 workshop – $15.003 workshops – $40.005 workshops –  $55.00All workshops – $110.00 (11 workshops at $10.00 per session)if you would like to participate in one or more of the workshops listed below, email fojofest@gmail.com or call/text 250.262.8147.FoJo performers can attend workshops at no charge, as the cost to attend is included in the application fee.FoJo 2014 is a co-production, in conjunction with Spectacular Chair Factory and the Stage North Theatre Society. ◆ 3 hours◆ Please bring a laptop (if you have one) with any sound programs you use. If you don’t have a laptop, bring paper and pen.◆ No experience necessaryPhysical Theatre Training: Introduction, led by Brennan Campbell.Serving as an introduction to both The Suzuki Method of Actor Training and The Viewpoints, this workshop will focus on cultivating dynamic stage presence and commanding performances.Advertisement Participants’ physical and spatial awareness, imagination, and ability to generate energy will be challenged.Using repeatable exercises, you’ll explore how an artist can not only keep their tools sharp, but hone them daily.◆ Saturday August 9th, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., The Move Dance Centre◆ Class Limit: 12◆ 4 hoursAdvertisement They’re offering everything from acting and improve, to insight for directors, technical elements like sound design, physicality and movement.Sound Design Workshop, led by Jordan Watkins.Sound design is a discipline that transcends drama, dance, and film. While technology is always changing, the basic principles of sound design have remained timeless.- Advertisement -This workshop will introduce the principles behind sound design.Participants will learn practical techniques for sourcing and creating music and sound effects.Participants will also analyze a piece of dramatic text and have the opportunity to apply the design techniques learned.Advertisementlast_img

LONELY LIFE OF DONEGAL PENSIONERS TO FEATURE ON RTE SPECIAL TONIGHT

first_imgPensioners from Donegal and other parts of rural Ireland will feature in a Primetime Special on RTE television tonight. Miriam O’Callaghan reports on Rural Isolation in a special entitled “No Country for Old Men,” which will be broadcast at 9.35pm on RTE One.Over the past few weeks, leading up to Christmas, Prime Time’s Miriam O’Callaghan travelled north and south speaking to some of the country’s bachelor farmers and older men living alone and in rural isolation. The team see behind the doors of Kerry and Donegal, meeting Mossie Foley, Barney Byrne and “Packie Jim of the Mountain.”Some of the men are part of a particularly Irish phenomenon, a generation that experienced the lowest marriage rates in history.In the 1950’s about a third of men never married. According to the CSO, the propensity to remain single “was most pronounced for rural males aged 35-44. Just over half this group was single in 1946, compared to 1 in 5 some fifty years later”.Often these men stayed on the family farm, taking care of the land and elderly parents. Miriam O’Callaghan met Seventy Seven year old Mossie Foley from South Kerry who reminisces about a time when his area was more filled with neighbours and school children, to “Packie Jim of the Mountain,” who still lives in the house he was born in 80 years ago – remarkably, he still has no running water or electricity.Miriam also met Barney Byrne, a widower, who explains how he spends his days in the country, living alone after his wife and adult son passed away. The challenges posed by a lack 0of rural transportation, needing home help and loneliness are never far away.“It really was a privilege for me that these men let us into their homes and into their lives,” said Miriam.“Theirs is a testimony to a changing society – one that involves exodus from country and the challenges of sustaining a happy and healthy life while struggling with the issues of rural transportation, home help and fear of living alone.”LONELY LIFE OF DONEGAL PENSIONERS TO FEATURE ON RTE SPECIAL TONIGHT was last modified: December 19th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalpensionersPrimetime SpecialRTElast_img read more

GAA: ST MARY’S GAA CLUB NEWS

first_imgBingo Continues on Tues at 8.30 Lotto result CN,CW,SO,WD eileen Mc Mullan,Convoy Mary Bonner Drumkeen,Teresa Gallagher Paddy Clohessey Ballybofey ,Josh Mailey Letterkenny Jackpot €2500.Dinner Dance will be held in Jacksons Hotel on Sat 19th Jan meal at 8.30 Music by the popular Beefsteak Dancers and SAM will be attending Tickets €25Following the GAA’s Annual Congress in April 2012 a new rule was enacted that made it mandatory to use a mouth guard in all Gaelic football matches and training sessions from January 1st 2013 for all age grades up to Minor. Commitee Meeting at 8.30 on Thursday night.GAA: ST MARY’S GAA CLUB NEWS was last modified: January 6th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA: ST MARY’S GAA CLUB NEWSlast_img read more

YOUNG FINE GAEL DONEGAL CALL FOR TALKS TO AVOID TEACHER STRIKE

first_imgYoung Fine Gael Donegal chairman Aaron Sweeney has called on the Minister for Education to meet with the teachers unions and listen to concerns raised.Mr Sweeney said he has written to the minister this week urging her to meet with the unions to discuss junior certificate reform and hopefully avoid a strike on December 2nd.He added “However I do believe junior cert reform is long overdue and I fully support the proposed changes to the junior cert. I would have loved that my work in first and second year could make up a proportion of my final junior cert mark. A lot of students would feel the same. As well as the minister listening to teachers, the teachers must listen to the students as well. “I understand that teachers need clarity on the issue as well do the parents and future junior cert students. But the main aim here is clearly the best possible education that the young people of Ireland truly deserve. I don’t see how striking will get anyone anywhere. It’s just a day of education lost. The unions have to see that the only outcome of these strikes is damage to education itself. I am currently in my leaving cert year and each day we are reminded how important time is to us in school.”He added that we now face the prospect of missing two days of education in the most important school year of our lives.“The minister and the unions have to act equally to prevent this from happening. But they most also be willing to compromise for the benefit of the education of Irelands young people.“They must not lose track of what is needed here and that is a top education. What the minister has proposed is what our students deserve and hopefully our teachers will eventually see that. The young people of Ireland deserve nothing but the best and hopefully that’s what can be achieved.’’ YOUNG FINE GAEL DONEGAL CALL FOR TALKS TO AVOID TEACHER STRIKE was last modified: November 23rd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalFine Gaelteacher strikelast_img read more

Budget 2017: Budget will help hard-pressed working families – McHugh

first_imgMinister Joe McHugh has said the Budget of 2017 will help hard pressed working families in Donegal.He said the budget is one that will positively impact families across the country and here in Donegal.The Government has ensured that Budget 2017 will help hard pressed working families, with measures designed to protect the economy and improve people’s lives, he said. “Fine Gael is using Budget 2017 to protect the progress we have made and build a strong economy. The gains we have made as a country are hard won and fragile, especially in the context of Brexit, but we are in a position to use some of the resources from our growing economy to help hard pressed working families in Donegal.“One particular highlight of Budget 2017 in this regard is the significant investment in childcare, designed to make it more affordable for working families. Parents of a child between 6 and 36 months in full time formal child care will receive support to the value of €960 per year. There will also be a targeted subsidy scheme for low to middle income parents with children between 6 months and 15 years. This announcement is in addition to the steps already taken to help parents get back to work. Last month we rolled out a second free year of the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) and introduced two weeks of paternity leave.“In addition to these specific measures designed to help working families in Donegal, we are continuing the process started in the last few Budgets of reducing high levels of taxation on modest incomes generally.“Each of the lower three USC rates are being reduced by 0.5%. Reducing the USC will ease the financial pressure on lower and middle income earners, sharing with them some of the benefits of our return to economic growth. Tax cuts increase the numbers returning to work which is good for the economy. Only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society. A €400 increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit will bring the total exemption to €950, which is a further step along the road to equalising the tax treatment of self-employed workers with PAYE earners. This will help self-employed people and small business owners to create more jobs here in Donegal and across the north-west. “Other measures include a reduction in DIRT from by 2% each year for the next 4 years, which will benefit savers, reducing it from 41% to 33% by 2020. The Inheritance Tax threshold that applies to gifts and inheritance from parents to their children will be increased to €310,000 and the threshold for all other categories will increase by 8%.“The home carers’ credit will be increased by €100, bringing it up to €1,100.“We have already provided free GP care for under 6s and in our Programme for Government we have committed to Free GP care for all children under 18.“I am delighted to see a €150M low interest agri cash flow support loan announced, a €601M spend on RDP, with the re-opening of GLAS and the BDGP. The new €25M Sheep Welfare Scheme will have a massive benefit to our farmers, as well as increased investment in seafood development and a fisherman’s tax credit which will undoubtedly assist the fishing community.“As a Fine Gael representative, I am working hard to ensure that the Government is delivering for families here in Donegal. While we cannot do everything in one Budget, we will have more resources to address the various challenges in our society, as the economy and employment continue to grow under the sound management of this Government. Thanks to the careful economic management of recent years we now have the resources to target investments in key public services that will make a real difference to people and families in Donegal.” Budget 2017: Budget will help hard-pressed working families – McHugh was last modified: October 12th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more