Minister hopeful date for Budget will be confirmed next week

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath also said he hopes an agreement can be reached on pay talks this month
Minister hopeful date for Budget will be confirmed next week

Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath is hopeful that an agreement can be reached on pay talks this month and that a date for the Budget will be confirmed next week.

However, he cautioned that the Government had limited resources and any pay deal had to be fair and had to be affordable.

Pay increases were not enough, some account also had to be taken for other measures, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

Earlier, on the same programme, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) president Kevin Callinan called on the Minister to instruct officials in his department to return to talks in the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to come to an agreement.

He would not say exactly what percentage of an increase they wanted, saying the airwaves were not the place for such a discussion, but he did say that Congress wanted the gap between inflation and wages to be narrowed.

Budget day

Meanwhile the Minister said that he anticipated a decision on the date of the Budget would be made by the Cabinet next week.

Any change, if one was agreed, would be “modest” he said, as planning for a Budget was a lengthy and complex process.

Mr McGrath told Newstalk Breakfast that the key priorities for the Government in the Budget were to protect the vulnerable with a series of “significant” one-off measures and support for working families who were feeling “real pressures” through reduced costs for childcare, housing, health and tax changes.

The third priority was public services and greater access to them, he said.

The Summer Economic Statement next week would clarify the amount of resources available for Budget 2023. It would give a good indication of what is available, he said.

There needed to be an awareness that there could be “headwinds” ahead in the form of the slowing of the global economy, the war in Ukraine and the resurgence in Covid cases, he added.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more