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13 Aug 2022

Budget package will alleviate cost-of-living pressures, says Taoiseach

Budget package will alleviate cost-of-living pressures, says Taoiseach

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said his Government will take measures, as part of the Budget package, to alleviate pressures on people suffering from the cost-of-living crisis.

The Government will publish its Summer Economic Statement on Monday, which will set out the parameters of the Budget.

It is understood that a Budget package of 6.7 billion euro is set to be approved by Cabinet, an increase in spending of 2.2 billion compared with last year’s Budget.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath will unveil the spending plans on Monday.

Speaking ahead of the Cabinet meeting, Mr Martin said: “We’re going to get the balance right here. The Summer Economic Statement sets out the parameters of what’s possible.

“We are in the context of a unique set of circumstances coming out of Covid-19, supply chain difficulties and balances between supply and demand, which created its own inflationary cycle.

“And then the war in Ukraine has been very dramatic in terms of its impact on energy prices, which has fed into the broader economy.

“So we do have to, through a combination of budgetary and temporary measures, try to alleviate the pressures on people, and that is the objective.

“Now remember, we already have taken taxation initiatives, around fuel and so on.”

Mr Martin added: “We do have to think of 2023 and beyond and to make sure that we have sustainability in our public finances and also to see what to do for the remainder of 2022.

“We are conscious that people are under a lot of pressure on households and so forth. So therefore we do have to see what we can do between now and the end of the year through the Budget and also how we have sustainability in pay and taxation measures.”

Mr Donohoe said the statement will show what resources are available to the country for next year, and how the Government will agree a cost-of-living Budget.

He said the Budget will “make a difference to the pressures that we know so many households are facing at the moment”.

“We do really appreciate that, with the rising cost of fuel, rising cost of food, so many are feeling the pressure in their wallets, are really feeling the effect of rising prices at the moment,” Mr Donohoe added.

“But this is a challenge that is going to be with us for many months. It’s going to be with us next year, and, because of that, the most effective and most appropriate way of dealing with this is through the Budget.

“What we will show later on today is the resources that are available for the Budget and we will lay out, from a taxation and expenditure point of view, what are the promises within which the Government will be able to put a budget together.

“We’re very much aware of the need for sustainability.”

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