| 9.5°C Belfast

Varadkar: No ‘big bazooka measure’ on cost of living or carbon tax offset

The Tanaiste has played down hopes for another major Government intervention.

Close

Leo Varadkar has said the Government will bring forward new measures to tackle the cost of living (John Stillwell/PA)

Leo Varadkar has said the Government will bring forward new measures to tackle the cost of living (John Stillwell/PA)

Leo Varadkar has said the Government will bring forward new measures to tackle the cost of living (John Stillwell/PA)

The Tanaiste has played down hopes for another major Government intervention in tackling the rising cost of living.

Leo Varadkar said on Friday that while the Government is meeting next week to consider further action to deal with rising inflation and offset the planned increase in carbon tax, such moves will not amount to a “big bazooka measure”.

Opposition parties have called variously for action on the minimum wage and an emergency budget, with the war in Ukraine adding to rising costs for households.

The Government has already attempted to mitigate the impact of inflation with a range of announcements, including a cut to excise duty on fuel and providing households with a 200 euro energy rebate.

However, critics have said action so far does not go far enough.

Close

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar was speaking in the Dublin suburb of Inchicore on Friday (Dominic McGrath/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar was speaking in the Dublin suburb of Inchicore on Friday (Dominic McGrath/PA)

PA

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar was speaking in the Dublin suburb of Inchicore on Friday (Dominic McGrath/PA)

The Irish deputy premier said the Government will bring forward new measures and “nothing is off the table”.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

But he declined to provide details on what exact proposals are being considered.

He noted that people want to see the cost of childcare, healthcare, housing and education all made more affordable.

“There are a lot of costs that the Government can influence that we could help people with that might make more sense in doing, and be more sustainable longer term, than responding to energy prices going up and down,” Mr Varadkar said.

Speaking in the Dublin suburb of Inchicore, he said the Government will “treat the symptoms” of the cost-of-living crisis.

My focus is on the bigger pictureMicheal Martin

“That means helping people to pay those increased bills,” he said. “But ultimately what we need is an anti-inflation strategy that’s about bringing down the cost of living, not just chasing the cost of living upwards.”

He said the Government will meet next week because it recognises the “rising cost of living and the rising cost of energy in particular is really impacting on people’s standard of living and household budget”.

He added: “We want to take some additional actions, but in particular, what we decided we want to do is offset the increase in carbon tax that happens on May 1.”

Irish premier Micheal Martin said the three party coalition leaders will meet on Monday to map out the Government’s response.

“The idea is we have to have a more comprehensive response to the economic impacts of this war and the current inflationary cycle and the cost of living and make sure we look at the medium term in that response,” Mr Martin said.

“We cannot chase inflation and get the wrong results. The critical issue is how do we protect people from the worst impacts of the cost-of-living increases. We have to do that in a way that does not make it worse.

Close

Leo Varadkar said the Government recognises rising energy costs are impacting living standards (PA)

Leo Varadkar said the Government recognises rising energy costs are impacting living standards (PA)

PA

Leo Varadkar said the Government recognises rising energy costs are impacting living standards (PA)

“The meeting on Monday will be to scope out what is the best response here and that means bringing in the social partners and starting a dialogue with them and developing a more societal approach to it.

“My focus is on the bigger picture as to how do we respond to society and the cost of living which will be with us for some time.”

The jump in carbon tax has proved controversial, with Sinn Fein urging the Government to postpone the planned measure.

Mr Varadkar admitted the carbon tax will prove expensive for some people.

He added: “We want to do something to offset that but that’ll be the intention. Now, it’s not going to be another big bazooka measure. We’re not in that position at the moment.

“We don’t want to get into the situation whereby we’re borrowing money to help people reduce their bills, because ultimately, in the long run, that’s just a con.”


Top Videos



Privacy