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inflation Taoiseach says there will be no more cost of living measures before next budget

'The next intervention will be the budget itself in the autumn, so that's that'


Micheál Martin

Micheál Martin

Micheál Martin

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has ruled out the possibility of any further Government interventions on the cost of living before the next budget.

Speaking after the Government announced €500m package of measures aimed at tackling the sky rocketing rate of inflation, Mr Martin said: “The majority of yesterday would have been a once off and no, we will not be seeing another iteration of that.

“The next intervention will be the budget itself in the autumn, so that's that,” the Taoiseach added.

At a press conference after an environmental summit in Brest, France, Mr Martin conceded the cost of living package will “never fully” address the financial burden of the rising rate of inflation.

However, he said it will “help to alleviate the pressures that are on many families particularly hard pressed families”.

“Low income groups will also benefit from the electricity cut quite significantly and that will of course we in addition to the fuel allowance and other measures,” he said.

“We also have to be mindful of the fact that obviously it's an international phenomenon or global phenomenon and the jury is out in terms of how long inflation will stay this way, so we do have to take stock of that and monitor that,” he added.

On Thursday, the Government doubled the soon to be introduced electricity credit to €200 and reduced public transport fees by 20pc. They also promised a one-off €125 payment for people who claim the fuel allowance. The drug payment scheme threshold was reduced and Budget changes to the working family payment were brought forward.

Mr Martin confirmed he will follow in the footsteps of Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath by donating his electricity credit to charity.

The Taoiseach refused to support Higher Education Minister Simon Harris’s plans to reduce college fees which currently stand at €3,000.

“Any issues around education fall to be considered in terms of next year's estimates campaign and in terms of the budget.

"That is the situation right now,” he said.

“The core funding is a big issue in terms of our third level system and research funding so all of that goes into the mix for the next estimates process,” he added.

Separately, Mr Martin was also asked about pressure from unions for wage hikes for both the private and public sector to cope the cost of living crisis.

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“The ICTU and the trade union movement more generally engages with employers in terms of negotiations in the private sector and that will continue. Generally as a society, we have to be careful that we don't try and chase inflation and then end up sort of causing more harm than good. There will be further soundings between ourselves and the unions and the employers on this,” he added.

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