Measures to tackle cost of living to be announced
The Government is set to announce measures to address the impact of the rising cost of living on households.
The Taoiseach told a meeting of his party last night that these supports will alleviate pressures on working people and those on low incomes.
Today’s announcement will detail supports in excess of €400 million.
However, this includes more than €200 million already set aside for the €113.50 credit on electricity bills in all homes.
This credit will now be increased when the Coalition leaders, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe agree the final details at a Cabinet committee meeting this evening.
While discussions are ongoing, some within Government are holding out the possibility that the energy credit could be doubled.
There will also be extra funding for the Fuel Allowance payment, with a double week’s payment or lump sum under consideration.
A planned €10 increase to the Weekly Family Payment from June could be brought forward to April.
The measures will be finalised at a meeting of the Cabinet Economic sub-committee this afternoon, which will be chaired by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.
He described today’s package as one that will help everyone with the cost of living.
It comes as a RED C poll for the Society of the St Vincent de Paul suggests that the number of people struggling financially has risen from 9% to 18% since the start of the pandemic. 37% of people have cut back on essential heating and electricity use.
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane welcomed the electricity credit but said it is “not enough”.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, she said the Government’s plans to address the cost of living must contain “targeted” proposals to help those most in need.
“They are paying taxes and really struggling … they don’t get the fuel allowance.”
She said Sinn Féin has a package of €1.4 billion that it is bringing forward, the majority of which is made up by €900 million through the “higher than expected” VAT receipts.