The Action Plan for Jobs 2015 was launched yesterday, Thursday 29 January 2015. The Plan is the fourth annual plan in a multi-year process which started in early 2012. It sets out in detail the actions to be taken by government departments and state agencies during 2015 to support job creation.
The Start Your Own Business scheme provides a two-year exemption from income tax (up to a maximum of €40,000 per year) for people who have been unemployed for at least 12 months before starting their own business. You must have been getting a qualifying social welfare payment to take part in the scheme. It runs from 23 October 2013 to 31 December 2016.
When you give your personal details to an organisation or individual (a data controller), they have a duty to keep these details private and safe. This process is known as data protection. Data protection issues arise at work, when interacting with public services, when you buy goods or services, and when you travel or surf the internet.
European Data Protection Day aims to help citizens understand more about how and why their personal data is collected and their rights when data about them is processed and held.
The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has a short guide to data protection which outlines your rights and the responsibilities of those who hold and process your personal details.
If you see environmental problems – backyard burning, fly tipping or illegal dumping it can be hard to know what to do.
If you have a dispute with your landlord you may be able to resolve it informally. However sometimes this is not possible and you need to involve a third party to help resolve the problem.
A pilot programme of Irish Sign Language guided tours at heritage sites has been announced. The programme is being run by the Centre for Deaf Studies at TCD and the Office of Public Works. You can book a free ISL signed tour by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flu is now actively circulating in the community. Influenza-like illnesses have risen from 15.5 per 100,000 to 29.0 per 100,000 population during the second week of January. Influenza is expected to increase over the coming weeks and circulate for at least the next 6-8 weeks. This increase in cases of the flu mean that it is very important to get your flu vaccination if you are in a high-risk group.
You apply for almost all full-time undergraduate courses through the Central Applications Office (CAO). The CAO provides a handbook that lists all the courses on offer and gives information on how to apply. The closing date for 2015 applications from Irish and other European Union nationals is 5.15 pm on 1 February 2015. Late applications are allowed up to 5.15 pm on 1 May 2015.
Decisions on offers of places are normally made in August and September, after the results of the Leaving Certificate have come out.
Application deadlines and fees for 2015
|Online discounted rate||€ 25||20 Jan 2015 (5:15pm)|
|Normal application (online or paper)||€ 40||1 Feb 2015 (5:15 pm)|
|Late online application||€ 50||1 May 2015 (5:15 pm)|
|Late paper application||€ 80||1 May 2015 (5:15 pm)|
|Change of Mind (opens from 5 May 2015)||Nil||1 July 2015 (5:15 pm)|
You can amend your course choices free until 30 January (the day before the normal application deadline). From 5 February 2015 you can pay €10 to amend your course choices online.
All fees are non-refundable. People who are applying for the HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) schemes should indicated this on their online application forms by 1 March 2015.
After an accident Community First Responder groups provide the first response before the arrival of the emergency services. A first responder is a person, trained in basic life support and the use of a defibrillator, who attends an actual or potentially life-threatening emergency.
Since 1 January 2015 incomes of €12,012 or less are exempt from Universal Social Charge (USC). Once your income is over this limit, you pay the relevant rate of USC on all of your income. There are also changes to USC rates in 2015.
|1.5%||Up to €12,012|
|3.5%||From €12,012.01 to €17,576.00|
|7%||From €17,576.01 to €70,044.00|
|8%||From €70,044.01 to €100,000.00|
|8%||Any PAYE income over €100,000|
|11%||Self-employed income over €100,000|
|1.5%||Income up to €12,012|
|3.5%||All income over €12,012|
Reduced rates of USC apply to:
- People aged 70 or over whose aggregate income for the year is €60,000 or less
- Medical card holders under 70 whose aggregate income for the year is €60,000 or less
‘Aggregate’ income for USC purposes does not include payments from the Department of Social Protection.