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FF Budget promises: More energy credits and a €10 child benefit boost

Party leader Micheál martin denied that Fianna Fáil was engaging in “auction politics”.

MICHEÁL MARTIN HAS said he wants to see a €10 increase in child benefit as well as a pension increase and another round of winter energy credits in the next budget.

The Tánaiste set out a range of measures he wants brought in that would benefit parents, householders and pensioners.

Martin also wants to see a €12 increase in the state pension, and said the Government will consider another round of energy credits in this year’s budget, but said it would not be “in the same order” as the last payment.

He denied that Fianna Fáil is “electioneering” or gearing up for an early general election by proposing several budget pledges at its Ard Fheis over the weekend. 

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s ‘This Week’, Martin said that an increase in child benefit payments is something his party will be really “pushing for” in the last year of this Government. 

Asked by presenter Justin McCarthy if the “Charlie McCreevy days of auction politics” are back, Martin replied “not at all”. 

He mentioned various funds for the likes of tackling climate and investing in infrastructure as an “unprecedented putting aside of money by this Government” for Ireland’s future. 

“We are entitled to identify priorities for us at our Ard Fheis when we meet our membership in respect of the next budget, but also for the next five years,” he said. 

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath also set out details of a tax package this weekend, including a measure that would see the first €20,000 of a person’s income exempt from income tax.

Martin said the summer economic statement will give the overall frame.

He said that there has been an increase in jobs, and revenue generated by the Irish economy because of “prudent management”. 

He said that though the rate of inflation is “coming down”, Fianna Fáil still wants to see energy credits to help people with the cost of living in future budgets, as prices are still high, and hurting people’s pockets. 

He said that he remains committed to seeing the Government go “full term”, despite some from within his party, including former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, saying that a general election should be called early. 

In the same interview today, the Tánaiste outlined his concerns about young people and social media use, stating that in particular, he is concerned about the age verification methods for some apps being very lax. He said that the government would move to legislate on the matter if the social media companies did not act. 

With reporting by Christina Finn and Press Association