What’s on this week? | 12-18 October

Minister Michael McGrath and Minister Paschal Donohoe speaking at a press conference
Credit: twitter | @IRLDeptPER

It’s all about the Budget, except when it’s not. Check in on this week’s events with LookLeft.

Public talks

Financial Justice Ireland is hosting its October Economic Justice Bookclub this Wednesday. They’ll be discussing Public Finance for the Future We Want, which was published by the Transnational Institute last year. A free PDF is available at the link.

This year’s Geary Lecture will be delivered by Paula England (Professor of Sociology, NYU) on Thursday afternoon and will examine changes in gender inequality since 1970 on multiple indicators: educational attainment, employment, segregation in fields of study, occupational segregation, and pay.

Of course, we can’t escape the Budget for long. There’ll be a flurry of activity on Tuesday as Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath head to the Dáil (as if the entirety of their speeches haven’t already been leaked). We expect infographics and articles entitled ‘What does Budget 2021 mean for you?” It will take a few more days for the more sober analysis to come out. The ESRI’s post-Budget briefing is at 9:30am on Friday. Members of the Tax, Welfare and Pensions programme will present an assessment of the likely economic effects and impact on households of the tax and welfare measures announced in Budget 2021. They will also examine the impact that Covid-19 has had on income in Ireland and the role the tax-benefit system has played in cushioning income losses relating to the pandemic to date.

Trade unions

Debenhams workers have been picketing for six months to try stopping the disgraced retail chain from moving its remaining assets abroad. Last week KPMG, the joint liquidators of Debenhams went to the High Court seeking injunctions against three striking workers who are demanding the implementation of agreed redundancy package. Follow Mandate Trade Union to keep up to date with what you can do to show your solidarity.

The Oireachtas 

It’ll be all about the Budget this week, starting with the Government speeches at 1pm on Tuesday and then leaders’ questions from the opposition parties on Wednesday.

While the Seanad will also be spending most of the week discussing the Budget, there’ll also be time on Wednesday for the Government to bring the Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020 to the second stage and for the opposition to bring a private members motion on the re-integration of Shannon Group into State control.

Don’t forget about the non-Budget work the Committees will be taking on next week. On Wednesday the ambassadors of Germany and Portugal will be talking to the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs on the priorities and state of play on their respective countries’ presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Joint Committee on Transport and Communications Networks will be looking at the aviation sector again, civil servants will be giving an update on Sláintecare to the Joint Committee on Health, and the Joint Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht will hear from representatives of the National Campaign for the Arts.

Thursday will have the Joint Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science hearing about the progress made in the implementation of the Interim report on the Use of Reduced Time Tables in Schools recommendations and the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence discussing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 with representatives of Dóchas, World Vision, Coalition 2030, and Trócaire.