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Taoiseach rules out mini-Budget in January as Fianna Fáil ard fheis gets under way

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Party leader Micheál Martin speaks to the media at the Fianna Fáil ard fheis at the RDS in Dublin. PA

Party leader Micheál Martin speaks to the media at the Fianna Fáil ard fheis at the RDS in Dublin. PA

Party leader Micheál Martin speaks to the media at the Fianna Fáil ard fheis at the RDS in Dublin. PA

The Taoiseach has ruled out a mini-Budget in January but has suggested the windfall tax may be used to fund further cost of living measures next year.

Speaking at the Fianna Fáil ard fheis in the RDS, he said the possibility of further measures will be kept “under review” after the Government announced the €11bn Budget announced earlier this week.

“We don’t see a mini-Budget in January, we will keep everything under review in terms of the wider international situation, the war in Europe and if it deteriorates,” he said.

“We are worried about that uncertainty about the war.”

Mr Martin suggested money from the windfall tax will be used to fund further cost of living measures, similar to those announced in July.

“It will take some time for that revenue to come into the Government exchequer,” he said.

“There will be uncertainties, events will happen and we did say we want to get people through to March.

“We did things like, for example, in July, which was not a mini-Budget but we did eliminate school transport fees, we increased the back to school clothing allowance and we took measures like that which don’t constitute a mini-Budget but which will make a different to help people.”

Mr Martin yesterday gave his backing to keeping Darragh O’Brien as housing minister after December’s reshuffle.

He said today there was a “context” to his comments about Mr O’Brien staying on as housing minister.

However, he did not give the same strong backing to health minister Stephen Donnelly.

He said Fianna Fáil took on the “enormous challenges” in the departments of health and housing and said the party has “more” work to do in health.

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“We have some more issues to do in disability, particularly in the health arena, we’re making good progress in education and special needs and disability, I’d like to see more progress in terms of access to therapists in respect of the health service,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Fianna Fáil ard fheis did not pass a motion to introduce a new 30pc income tax rate which was heavily pushed by Leo Varadkar in the lead-up to the Budget to no avail.

The new tax rate would be paid on all earnings above €40,000 and up to €60,000 a year.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said in his Budget speech the tax rate is still being reviewed.

Fianna Fáil members also voted against the abolition of the USC.
 


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