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Further cuts to interest rates and energy prices on the cards, says finance minister

The vast majority of households in Ireland will see gains in real terms across 2024, says Minister McGrath.

FURTHER CUTS TO interest rates and energy prices are on the cards, according to Finance Minister Michael McGrath. 

Speaking to reporters at the National Economic Dialogue in Dublin Castle today, the minister said Ireland’s inflation rate is one of the lowest in the Euro area, running at around 2%. 

“We are likely to be at a turning point in the interest rate cycle. We expect further energy price reductions to be passed through the wholesale level to the retail level. We will see an improvement in living standards for many people.

“The vast majority of households in Ireland will see gains in real terms across 2024. So that’s very positive,” he said.

His comments come as RTE reports the chief economist of the European Central Bank Philip Lane has indicated that the ECB should be in a position to begin cutting interest rates from next week. 

McGrath said there is still a need to be careful in the decisions government makes over the next year, due to the “deep uncertainty” surrounding geopolitical tensions. 

Speaking about the budget this year, the minister said there will be measures to support households with the cost of living. He said there will be a social welfare package and income tax cuts. 

He said there should be a move away from one-off cost-of-living measures, given the fall in inflation, and a move towards permanent measures and permanent changes to taxation frameworks. 

While there has been speculation of the budget being brought forward, perhaps in time for an autumn election, McGrath said today that the budget will be at normal time in October.

The minister said in the coming weeks he will bring a memorandum to the government to confirm the date of the budget, stating: “There are no plans to change the budget date from normal periods.”

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