Digital Desk Staff
The Taoiseach says today's Budget is framed around Ireland emerging from the Covid pandemic.
Some of the measures expected later are a €100 million package to help the tourism sector, 800 new gardaí and half price public transport for young people.
Free contraception for young women and an extension to the Help-to-buy scheme will also form part of the €4.7 billion spending plan.
Speaking on his way into Cabinet, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Budget is about the country recovering post Covid.
“The backdrop to this Budget is Ireland emerging from the Covid pandemic and the economic recovery under way, we have to consolidate that, and we'll do that by making sure there's no cliff edge in respect of support for jobs in companies through the UES scheme and so on.
“But also in terms of children and families to do the best we can within the resources to support children in education, in childcare and in reducing costs in terms of access to health within the health system itself both in terms of primary care and GPs and in terms of hospitals as well and access to hospitals, that's particularly important and in education, through special needs and disadvantage that we would have a particular focus on that.
“More broadly speaking, given the increase in fuel prices and the energy situation across the world, it is important that our social welfare package would reflect that issue and that we would do the very best we can to protect people who would be vulnerable to the pressures arising from the fuel situation globally and the increase in prices.”
'Help with the cost of living'
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, on his way into Government Buildings, said that the Budget would offer “a lot of help with the cost of living”. While some of the changes might not appear significant, they would all add up.
There would be a “lot of investment” in public services and support for businesses that were still struggling from the pandemic, he said.
“There will be a lot of help for them.”
The Green Party leader said that he hoped the Budget would be a Green budget with a focus on better public transport, especially in terms of access for younger people.
With regard to the arts, he said there would be a radical change in the way of “doing things”.
Mr Ryan also said that the National Development Plan would have to be part of climate transition. — Additional reporting from Vivienne Clarke