Micheál Martin has called the upcoming October budget a “cost of living budget”.
And the Taoiseach promised it would be ‘comprehensive’ and have a real impact on people ‘during this calendar year’.
Normally, budget proposals do not take effect until the following year.
Read more:Varadkar does not rule out further aid for the cost of living before the 2023 budget
However, the Taoiseach has refused to budge on its stance that there will be no emergency budget or additional cost-of-living relief measures introduced until October.
Mr Martin was speaking to reporters in Cork at the opening of the new and improved community care facility at St Mary’s Health Campus in Cork.
The Taoiseach said: “The country is not on its knees… This is a country where you now have almost full employment, you have a growing population, this is a very big problem, there are more five million people in the country.
“I welcome the ESRI report because I think it actually illustrates the importance of not doing something every month.
“I mean, for example, Sinn Féin since the start of this inflationary cycle has called for dramatic cuts in excise fuel taxes and ESRI says that’s not the most effective way to target resources .
“And yet Sinn Féin does another U-turn and sort of says, oh, we welcome the ESRI report.
“ESRI says what Sinn Féin has been asking for from the start is not the most efficient and targeted way.
“So we need that kind of evidence-based approach to what we’re going to do.
“We have already allocated 2.5 billion euros, the budget will be a cost of living budget, it will be comprehensive and we want it to have an impact on people in this calendar year.
“But, there is a whole range of measures that we need to look at, working with others to prioritize how best to reduce the pressure on people that is undoubtedly there in terms of this unprecedented inflationary cycle, the worse than we have seen since the 1970s, caused primarily by the war against Ukraine and the militarization of energy, food in the conduct of this particular war.
Mr Martin was pressed to know if, strapped for cash, he could expect government help before October.
He replied, “Like I said, the budget is the most comprehensive way to handle this.”
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