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Ryan signals need for social welfare and tax changes to get country through 'very difficult period'

Taoiseach has said there will be “a challenging number of months ahead with the cost of living”.

Image: Oireachtas.ie

SOCIAL WELFARE AND tax measures may be needed to help people cope with the rising price of oil.

Speaking in the Dáil this morning, Ryan said “social welfare or other measures may be needed to help us through what is going to be a very difficult period in this country”. 

He said his department is working with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe “on a whole range of different initiatives”.

“A whole range of other tax or other initiative measures” will be needed to “manage this crisis”, said Ryan.

Sinn Féin has called for a mini budget to be introduced before October to deal with cost of living pressure the public is facing.

Sinn Fein’s TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke said people are looking at the rising cost of fuel and are worried, stating there are concerns it could hit €2.50 per litre. 

His party has called for additional measures such as an increase in fuel allowance and cash payments to people in need.

“You know very well minister that we need to see action before October. Energy providers are indicating during the summer that in September they’re going to be increasing prices. And it’s going to drive people further into poverty. We need to see a response from government,” said O’Rourke. 

Petrol prices in Denmark are currently €2.46 while in Greece it is €2.28, and €2.33 in Iceland.

Government sources have said they are minded not to interfere further in the petrol and diesel prices, acknowledging that prices at the pumps could rise further.

They stated that there is little point in chasing inflation, and the government is now focusing on reducing other costs for people to offset the costs. 

The Journal reported in April that significant childcare costs are being targeted in October’s Budget. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin told his parliamentary party meeting last night that there will be “a challenging number of months ahead with the cost of living”.

He said exploratory talks have been commenced with the government’s social partners to develop a response.

“If we chase inflation it will get worse. We cannot exacerbate it in our decisions.
The summer economic statement is a first step in the forthcoming budgetary process…

“We want to make childcare affordable for working families, examine taxation proposals to help workers and also reduce healthcare costs. Housing will have to play a significant feature of the next budget to help those who want to buy a home. We must also continue to reform our health service,” he said. 

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Ryan said today that the budgetary process is the best way to handle the current situation.

“I think it is the right approach for us to get the blend and mix of different initiatives that we will need, I think it’s right to get those in place and to design them with real thought and real precision, in my mind, really targeting those who are most at risk, and also looking at a whole range of other tax or other initiative measures that we can do to manage this crisis,” he said.

“We’re active working together to look at a whole range of options,” he added.

Ryan said it is not his view that the public should just grin and bear the rising costs.

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