By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said he cannot yet commit to the value of the Government’s one-off cost-of-living package due to be revealed next month.
Budget 2023 is to include measures worth a total of €6.7 billion.
A cost-of-living package of one-off measures is also to be announced, which the Government has said will be announced alongside but separate to the Budget.
“I’m not yet in a position to indicate what would be the scale of, or nature of, the one-off measures,” Mr Donohoe told reporters in Dublin on Wednesday.
“I would anticipate that it will be far later in September before the Government reaches agreement on what will be the scale of those measures or what will be the nature.”
Mr Donohoe added that an “important ingredient” in deciding those measures would be the State’s tax receipts in August.
The Government announced a surplus of €5 billion in the first half of the year, compared with what was expected at the start of the year.
This compares with a €5 billion deficit at the same time last year.
Warning once again about Ireland’s overreliance on corporate tax income streams, Mr Donohoe said that €3 billion of this surplus came from corporate tax, due to “a very strong overperformance versus the expectations we had at the start of the year”.
He added: “If you look at changes that will happen that I know are going to happen regarding global corporate tax reform, I know that in the coming years we will see Ireland collect less corporate tax than we would have expected to in the absence of those reforms happening – and they are going to happen.
“The Government hasn’t yet considered how we would use, what our response back is to that higher level of corporate tax that we are collecting at the moment. I will engage with the party leaders and my Cabinet colleagues on that in September.
“But I think we need to take great care regarding how we use money that we may not have in the future again.”
In relation to whether energy supplies would need to be limited this winter, Mr Donohoe said: “Based on the updates that I have received in relation to energy supply for our country, and certainty of energy supply, we don’t believe any additional measures are currently merited to conserve energy.”
“But this is a really, really dynamic situation. It is changing very quickly with regard to the supply of energy into Europe,” he said, adding that it was under continuous review by the Government, particularly as winter approaches.