Updated: 09:46, Thursday, 27 March 2014
The Frontline

Prime Time - Wednesday 26/03/14 - click here

Prime Time - Wednesday 26/03/14 - click here

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter apologises to the garda whistleblowers but will that ease the presssure on his position.

And will the taping revelations have major legal implications?

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Helplines

Helplines

For anyone affected by issues raised in tonight’s programme, there are a number of helplines and websites which can be contacted for both immediate and longer-term help.

The Samaritans offer a 24 hour listening service and can be contacted on 1850 60 90 90 or

0845 790 90 90 in Northern Ireland.

Console offers help for anyone bereaved or affected by suicide and can be contacted on

1800 201 890 (24 hour)

Reach Out is a service dedicated to helping young people get through tough times. Their website provides information about all aspects of mental health & services available for ...

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The fear and loathing of Budget 2013

The fear and loathing of Budget 2013

Tonight on The Frontline


Cuts, taxes and apparently coalition tensions - as more details are emerge of the pain we are all due in Wednesday's budget we ask will it, and can it, be fair?

Is everything really on the table? Have the government considered all the options open to them or are some "Sacred Cows" untouchable? And in terms of complaining about that kind of budget - isn't that what you get with coalition government?

Tonight we'll be discussing all that and more with Minsiter of State Brian Hayes, Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty, Professor Brian Lucey ...

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Legislating for X?

Legislating for X?

"I want this to be a sensitive, comprehensive, pragmatic and understanding discussion" - An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Tomorrow morning the cabinet will finally discuss the expert group report on abortion and how the Government could comply with the European Court of Human Rights Ruling in the case of A, B and C versus Ireland.

Thanks to a series of leaks we already know all of what is in that report and which option the group recommend. So will the Government take the advice and legislate? And will any legislation include the risk of suicide?

Joining us tonight Labour TD Derek Nolan ...

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What's wrong with our college grants system?

What's wrong with our college grants system?

This week we heard of lengthy delays in the student grant process with just 15 per cent of third-level students who applied for a grant for the first time this year having so far received a payment. So with incomes falling and more people qualifying for college grants, is the college grants system fair?

There are currently 75,000 students in receipt of grants (at a cost of €326 million), up from 55,000 just four years ago. Farmers and the self-employed are more than twice as likely to get college grants for their children as PAYE workers. Also, according ...

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The Children's Referendum

The Children's Referendum

On Saturday, November 10th, we’ll go to the polls to cast our votes in the Children’s Referendum. This Referendum proposes to place a dedicated Article in the Constitution concerning the rights of children and their views. It also includes elements regarding State intervention if parents fail in their duty and issues surrounding adoption. But are you still unsure how to vote? Is there a question you’d like to ask?


On November 5th, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald will be in The Frontline studio to discuss the Referendum and address your concerns. So why not ...

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Shutting up shop

Shutting up shop

Over a quarter of a million people are employed directly in retail and wholesale sectors and are doubtless hoping the next two months will be their busiest of the year. But with consumer confidence still on the floor, and details of another austerity budget yet to be revealed at the start of December, could this be the most challenging Christmas yet for retailers?

Do you the shopper have a role to play? A survey last year by Amárach on the impact of the ‘Guaranteed Irish’ campaign found that the average household spend per week on Irish products and services ...

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Contact Details

Contact Details

www.keepingyourhome.ie is provided by the Citizens Information Board and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).

Mortgage Arrears Information Helpline
0761 07 4050 (Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm)

www.phoenixproject.ie
1850 20 30 40

www.creditreview.ie
1850 211 789

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What are the banks costing us?

What are the banks costing us?

Four years on from the bailout that brought us down what is going on with our banks?


On Monday the head of the Credit Review Office criticised the pillar banks for turning down loans to small and medium businesses. Since the office was created in April 2010 it has overturned 96 cases where the main banks refused credit, reversals which secured 813 full-time and 46 part-time jobs and saw an additional €9.6m lent by the banks.
John Trethowan also voiced concerns about the length of time it is taking to process loans and reiterated his call for more enterprise ...

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Tax the Rich?

Tax the Rich?

There is no pot of gold that can be raided from the wealthy that can solve our difficulties.”

So said the late Brian Lenihan in 2009, in the run up to that year's budget. He pointed out that high income earners already contribute about half of the entire income tax take. Since taking office the current government have also repeatedly ruled out new income taxes for Budget 2013 saying any new wealth taxes or higher income tax bands would be difficult to implement and might create disincentives. But as the budgets since 2009 have gotten tougher is that mantra ...

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Useful Numbers

Useful Numbers

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised on tonight’s programme here are some contact details which you might find useful.

Console 24 hour Helpline is 1800 201 890 for anyone bereaved or affected by suicide (www.console.ie).

The 1Life Helpline is 1800 247 100 which is a suicide prevention and intervention helpline for anyone at risk of suicide or worried about a loved one (www.1life.ie)
Also available through text – text the word HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply). Both helplines are free and available 24/7, manned by qualified and accredited ...

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Online Bullying

Online Bullying

The tragic death of 15-year-old Ciara Pugsley has once again thrown into sharp focus the issue of cyber-bullying. It’s not just among our young either – trolling, abusive or threatening messages are increasingly common as are slanderous postings. Smart phones mean many people, young and old, are now almost constantly connected to the internet and various social networking sites.

While much online discourse is a force for good (people can choose to be connected and in touch more than ever and it’s open to all regardless of background). However, many people, solicitors, teachers or anyone can find their professional ...

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Taxing Matters

Taxing Matters


Tonight on the programme we’ll be talking tax. Can the property tax be designed in a way which is fair? Various groups were excluded from paying the Household charge; will they similarly escape the property tax? What about pensioners or those currently unemployed? How do you reflect an inability to pay? Will a value based tax mean higher bills for those in urban areas? In 2009 The Commission on Taxation recommended that those who paid stamp duty when they bought a home should have an exemption from the tax for seven years from the year they bought. Is that ...

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Youth Today

Youth Today

Youth might be wasted on the young but is it increasingly all they are left with? Fewer jobs, little hope and the prospect of emigration are often what face the young Irish.

Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said recently “young people have borne the brunt of the crisis to a huge extent.” And the facts do seem to back that up. One in five of under 25-year-olds is unemployed and the few jobs going are often second-tier with pay and conditions far below what even slightly older colleagues are entitled to. The generation who will follow face student fees ...

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Join the Frontline

Join the Frontline

We’re back on September 17th for a new season of lively debate. Do let us know what topics and guests you would like to see on the programme over the next few months and we will try and make it happen.

If you'd like to join Pat Kenny and guests in the studio, please email thefrontlineaudience@rte.ie or phone (01) 2082941 for audience tickets.

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Is Mike Murphy Right?

Is Mike Murphy Right?

Is Mike Murphy right?

This may seem an unusual start to a Frontline post but Mike has made the news recently, criticising RTÉ for prioritising current affairs over the arts, specifically 'Masterpiece, Ireland's favourite painting' which he fronted.

Those in the broad church of "the arts" are probably less exercised by television scheduling than by Government cutbacks. Budgets are being slashed again and mergers are planned of our national libraries, museums and galleries, cue loud protests. In these straitened times can we continue to fund so much of arts and culture from the public purse or is that a ...

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The "F" Word

The "F" Word

Next Monday 21st May, The Frontline will hold a debate on the Fiscal Treaty in advance of the referendum on May 31st.


Stability or austerity? Good housekeeping or an unacceptable erosion of sovereignty? There is dispute even about what to call the Treaty we will be voting on, never mind what it will mean if it is passed.

The Referendum Commission say the Treaty is “about strengthening the rules designed to make governments keep a balance between their income and their spending.” While the proponents of the Treaty claim that it will foster budgetary discipline and therefore encourage investment, opponents ...

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Back from the Brink

Back from the Brink

A little bit of good news last week. Irish retailer Peats World of Electronics has reversed its decision to cease trading, reopened one store on Saturday and hopes to reopen three others, potentially saving 37 jobs. We’ve heard a lot over the last few years about debt forgiveness for homeowners. But it’s something already happening for business with examinership, and under order of the High Court. An increasing number of companies from Peat’s to Eircom are choosing this route to survive. All well and good if the process saves jobs, but with the banks and revenue at ...

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Back to Work?

Back to Work?

On Monday’s programme, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton joined us to discuss her Pathways To Work initiative, with which she hopes to overhaul our social welfare system and reduce the numbers on the live register. With internal reports suggesting that up to €700 million is being wasted every year on training schemes, the Minister is hoping that the new approach outlined in her plan will prove more successful in helping the unemployed to get back into the workforce.

The plan provides for the establishment of a National Employment and Entitlements Service, which will amalgamate staff from FÁS ...

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Mental Health, Depression and Suicide

Mental Health, Depression and Suicide

The Frontline: Mental Health, Depression and Suicide

Helplines

Console
24-hour suicide prevention helpline: 1800 247 100 (freephone)
Console suicide bereavement line: 1800 201 890 (freephone)
www.console.ie

Samaritans
1850 60 90 90

Aware
1890 303 302 (10am – 10pm, Monday – Wednesday; 10am – 1am, Thursday - Sunday)
http://www.aware.ie/

Pieta House
01 601 0000 (9am – 8pm, Monday – Friday)
www.pieta.ie

BeLonG To
01 670 6223 (10am – 6pm, Monday – Friday)
www.belongto.org

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Where's the Justice?

Where's the Justice?

Tonight – a legal special. Relations between the various branches of the legal profession and the Government are, shall we say, somewhat strained at present. Mostly that’s because of the Legal Services bill published last week which promises reform and regulation of the sector. Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is with us to explain how his legislation will mean lower legal bills. And then barristers and solicitors will explain how it will mean higher legal bills. So who is right?

And it’s not just lawyers at odds with the Minister – but judges too. Next week when you decide who ...

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The Price of Property

The Price of Property

We were obsessed with house prices during the boom and are now even more so. Of the 790,000 residential mortgages in the state 1 in 8 can be classed as ‘in trouble’ and a massive 300,000 are in negative equity. If prices were to rise again it might help solve our mortgage time-bomb. If they don’t rise what then? Well that’s something that the cabinet will be deciding on tomorrow when they discuss a report on how to ease the burden of debt. What will they recommend – more forebearance, interest only repayments, negative-equity mortgages? Will any ...

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Principles and Principals

Principles and Principals

Principles and Principals.

Did you know that this year and every year the State give private fee-paying schools a 100 million euro subsidy?In this age of austerity could that money be better better spent elsewhere in the education system? Should those who opt for private education be asked to pay the full economic cost of that education with all the advantages, not only academic but social, that it brings? Or would the withdrawal of the subvention simply bankrupt many of those schools and lead then to unbearable demands on the public school system? Is it a matter of choice ...

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Working on Welfare

Working on Welfare

Earlier this summer Minister Joan Burton said she wanted us all to have a debate about social welfare. So tonight we’re having it on The Frontline.

Her department of Social Protection is the biggest spending department in Government. €20 billion a year and not just on jobseekers’ allowance but also child benefit, the state pension, rent allowance, lone parent’s allowance and many more. It is accepted by the Government there has to be a reduction in that €20 billion, but where?

The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste have both decreed there will no cuts in social welfare rates ...

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The Race For The Park

The Race For The Park

To think that only a short few weeks ago some people were bemoaning a dull presidential campaign, well no more. Each day seems to bring fresh news and some not so fresh candidates. Certainly though the entry of Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness into the race has totally transformed the contest and begs questions of the Fianna Fáil strategy and Michéal Martin’s leadership. And what does it mean for the other candidates and for the chances of Senator Norris? We will be hearing from a very interesting guest on all of this - find out more at ...

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