Cost of living Fiscal measures will make the difference

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The finance minister said the government would help people facing rising costs of living in a way that could make a difference.

But he added that it will help in a way that will not create further fiscal challenges in the coming year.

Paschal Donohoe said the government is truly aware of the impact the energy crisis is having on so many people and the anxiety and worry that goes with it.

Mr Donohoe said the government had predicted that we would see a further change in the cost of energy and a further rise in household bills.

As a result, he added, the government has been preparing both at European level by forging a collective response to the challenge and also through national work.

He said that the work in the European Commission was really intensifying and he spoke to Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni about it this morning.

He also said he would chair a Eurogroup meeting in Prague tomorrow at the same time as energy ministers meet to brainstorm a European response.

At the national level, in addition to presenting the budget, the government has made it clear that additional measures will be announced to help people this year, he said.

“We want to help, we will help, and we need to strike the right balance between helping in a way that doesn’t add to the inflationary challenges we have in the Irish economy,” he said.

He added that it is not yet clear when these energy prices might start to fall in the future, which poses a challenge and a risk.

The minister declined to put a figure on how much the government is prepared to spend this year on one-off measures to help people cope with the rising cost of living.

Paschal Donohoe also said the government would be able to respond to any changes at EU level regarding energy with national measures.

“I am confident that we will have an idea of ​​the likely policies of the EU in this regard and that we can take them into account in our national budget plan,” he said.

He said that it has so far been difficult to put a figure on the cost of implementing the planned EU measures in Ireland, as the Commission’s program has so far only been described in general terms, but more detailed information will probably be provided after tomorrow’s Energy Committee meeting. ministers.

Mr Donohoe said the government will need to consider how well the EU proposals match the particular characteristics of the energy market in Ireland.

He said the EU energy market has some general characteristics, but country by country there are always national characteristics and Ireland is no different.

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