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Government unveils support measures in response to soaring cost of living

The household energy credit payment is increasing to 200 euro and public transport fares are being cut by 20%.

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Finance Paschal Donohoe (left) and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath (Julien Behal Photography)

Finance Paschal Donohoe (left) and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath (Julien Behal Photography)

Finance Paschal Donohoe (left) and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath (Julien Behal Photography)

The Government has announced a 290 million euro package of measures designed to mitigate the spiralling cost of living.

The main step will see the rebate on household energy bills increase to 200 euro, including VAT.

Public transport fares are set to be cut by 20% from April for the rest of the year.

People already in receipt of the fuel allowance are set to receive an additional payment of 125 euro.

Those eligible for the drug payment scheme, which places a cap on the maximum a family can pay on medicines a month, will see the limit reduced from 100 euro to 80 euro.

The working family payment budget increase announced in the budget will also be brought forward from June to April.

The Government has also reduced caps for multiple children on school transport fees to 500 euro per family for post primary schools and 150 euro for primary school children.

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Ministers had been coming under increasing pressure from opposition parties to address rising costs and inflation in Ireland.

The package of measures were announced after a meeting of the Cabinet Economic sub-committee on Thursday afternoon.

Outlining the measures on Thursday evening, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said:

“The additional expenditure measures we are announcing today come to a total of 290 million euro and will make a positive impact on the incomes of all households in our country.

“The centrepiece is a cut in the electricity bill of every household of 200 euro including VAT. This will be accompanied by an additional exceptional payment of 125 euro to households in receipt of the fuel allowance.

“The fuel allowance payment will be made in March, with the credit of 200 euro including VAT for electricity being applied to electricity accounts in April.

“A key concern in setting out these measures is to ensure that timely support is provided to all households specifically targeted at energy costs, while using the social welfare system to target additional support to those who are in receipt of the fuel allowance.

“Other key expenditure measures include reductions in fees and charges across a range of government-provided services”.

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said: “The rate of inflation that we have seen in the past few months has exceeded our expectations, mainly because of higher energy prices.

“While we expect the inflation rate to moderate from the second quarter of this year, it is nonetheless appropriate to respond to the increase in prices and today we are doing this.

“When taken in conjunction with the measures announced already, the Government package amounts to 505 million euro, a significant change.”


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