Updated: 10/10/16 : 07:25:14
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Budget crunch talks to continue today

Talks between Government and the Opposition on Budget 2017 will resume later today, with a number of issues still to be resolved.

Ahead of the Budget, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has been engaged in discussions with his Government colleagues in the Independent Alliance, and also with Fianna Fáil.

The impasse over the level of increase in payments for some social welfare recipients and also when they should be paid has reportedly not been resolved.

Sources within the Independent Alliance said they were still a long way off agreement with their Government colleagues in Fine Gael.

The minority coalition is also continuing discussions with Fianna Fáil, and sources indicated that progress had been made.

Increased investment is expected in the CLÁR scheme for rural areas, the rapid programme for disadvantaged urban communities, and more funding is due for long-stay beds for the elderly.

It is also understood that a tax credit for seafarers will be introduced.

On the health side, it is believed funding has been allocated for several hospital projects, including agreement to move to the planning and design phase for a new emergency department at Beaumont hospital.

It follows talks between the Department of Health, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and Minister of State Finian McGrath.