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‘There will not be something for everybody in the audience’ – Taoiseach’s Budget 2022 warning

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Next week’s budget will not be one where there will be increases for “everyone in the audience”, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned.

There have been indications that next Tuesday’s Budget will see an increase in social welfare, the State pension, fuel allowance and measures to ease the childcare burden for parents.

Micheál Martin denied claims that there will be increases for everybody amid warnings from the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council and the Central Bank that the Government must be prudent.

“There will not be something for everybody in the audience,” he told the Irish media.

“We've already set a finite limit in terms of roughly where the one billion extra in expenditure and about half a billion in tax (will go). We've indicated that by 2023, we will be eliminating the current budget deficit,” he said.

He said that there is a “consensus” among European leaders that as energy and heating bills spiral for households, there needs to be engagement across the EU on the issue

“In fact, the Commission have been asked to prepare proposals for the next EU council meeting with a view to looking at the short term but also the medium-term approach that the Commission and the EU collectively should take in respect of gas prices and respective energy,” he said.

Mr Martin said that he hopes that Ireland can balance its books by 2025, a target which is “fairly ambitious and challenging timeframe but one that we've set in the Summer Economic Statement.”

The Taoiseach was speaking in Slovenia, where he met European counterparts at the informal EU Summit.

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