Financial assistance will be announced for vulnerable groups hit by the cost-of-living crisis but will be on a smaller scale than previous government interventions, minister Heather Humphreys has said.
he Social Protection Minister said she wanted to be “straight with people” that interventions would be less than those announced last year.
Senior ministers are set to meet on Monday to finalise a package before it is formally signed off by cabinet on Tuesday and announced publicly.
A series of existing cost-of-living measures are currently due to fall away at the end of the month.
I want to be honest, I want to be straight with people, that the scale of these measures will be considerably lessHeather Humphreys
These include the energy credit scheme for households, a reduced 9% VAT rate on hospitality, electricity and gas, and the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBES).
Excise is also due to go up on petrol and diesel.
The Government has said it wants to avoid a “cliff-edge” scenario and has signalled an intent to extend some measures and introduce other mitigations.
Ms Humphreys told RTE that she wanted to protect the most vulnerable.
She said: “As Minister for Social Protection my priority is older people, people with disabilities, carers and of course working families with children.
“We did have a very comprehensive package of measures for Budget 2023.
“And I want to be honest, I want to be straight with people, that the scale of these measures will be considerably less.
“But, having said that, we will be able to give that helping hand to those that need it most.”
But Sinn Fein was critical over the government measures being announced at the “last minute”.
TD Claire Kerrane told RTE’s The Week in Politics programme that her party wanted to see a spring bonus for the most vulnerable.
She said: “A double payment to all social welfare recipients.
“They all need to see support in relation to what is announced on Tuesday.”