Government to consider budget day measures that take immediate effect

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Government To Consider Budget Day Measures That Take Immediate Effect Government To Consider Budget Day Measures That Take Immediate Effect
The Fine Gael leader said he has not ruled out bringing in additional measures to help cash-strapped households. Photo: PA Images
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said Government will consider budget day measures to tackle the cost of living crisis that will take effect immediately.

Mr Varadkar said the Government is assessing which measures can be implemented right away as part of the budget package set to be announced in October.

The Fine Gael leader said he has not ruled out bringing in additional measures to help cash-strapped households, but said there are no specific plans to before budget day.

The Government has come under sustained pressure to do more to ease the financial pressure on families and households, however, it has resisted calls to bring in a emergency budget.

A report found the number of Irish households estimated to be in energy poverty has passed 29 per cent (David Jones/PA)

It comes as a report found that the number of Irish households estimated to be in energy poverty has passed 29 per cent.

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According to research by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), recent energy inflation has increased the share of households in energy poverty to 29.4 per cent.

Speaking in Dublin on Thursday, Mr Varadkar said the government is considering which measures can take effect from budget day.

“One thing we are actually looking at now is to see what measures we could implement right away, so that we wouldn’t have to wait till January for all of them to come into effect,” he added.

“We did that in the last budget. So we’re examining now which measures we could introduce right away, which ones would then come in place in January and which ones would come into place later in the year.”

He also defended the Government’s handling of the cost-of-living crisis, saying the measures brought in since January has helped the public.

 

“If we hadn’t done what we’ve done, petrol and diesel will be 20 to 15 cents higher today, you wouldn’t have got two or three hundred euros off your electricity bill and pensions and welfare will be lower and income tax will be higher,” he claimed.

“I think what we have done is a lot. We don’t control energy price, unfortunately.

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“But we can help and have helped with €2.4 billion so far. We intend to help some more in the budget in three months’ time. We are not ruling out interim measures but at the moment the plan is budget day, which is only about three months away.”

He added: “Another area that I’d like to see action on is childcare because a lot of middle income families, working families spend a lot of money on childcare and it’s actually preventing some people from getting into the labour market.

“So it makes a lot of economic sense in doing that.

“We are planning to take more action to help people with the cost of living and that’ll happen on budget day, not ruling out doing anything in the interim, but not specifically planned.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said government has not ruled out further measures to address the cost of living crisis (Damien Storan/PA)

“I understand the calls for an emergency budget, but I would argue that in fact we’ve done that already.”

Mr Varadkar said the Government will monitor the cost of living over the summer months.

“Energy bills, fuel bills, electricity bills really hit hard in the autumn and in the winter, and that’s why we think October is the best moment to make that further intervention, but we will continue to monitor things as they go,” he added.

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“We do understand the impact this is having on household incomes.

“A lot of people really feel the pinch and some people are really struggling now to pay the bills and having to make very difficult choices about what they spend their money on.”

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