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Taoiseach says windfall tax on energy companies being considered in Budget

On a visit to Kerry, Micheál Martin also said families will see near-immediate benefits from a special cost-of-living package to be introduced in September

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured meeting the Horan family from Cork when his visited the Blasket Islands

Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured meeting the Horan family from Cork when his visited the Blasket Islands

Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured with Lorcán Ó Cinnéide from the OPW during his visit to the Blasket Islands

Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured with Lorcán Ó Cinnéide from the OPW during his visit to the Blasket Islands

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured meeting the Horan family from Cork when his visited the Blasket Islands

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Government is considering a windfall tax on energy companies to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis.

On a visit to Kerry, he also said families will see near-immediate benefits from a special cost-of-living package to be introduced in September.

He said that a package to alleviate financial pressures on families will be introduced in parallel with the budget next month.

The Taoiseach said Thursday’s exchequer figures that showed a €5bn surplus, were good news for the country as it gives the Government an opportunity to tackle “pressure on families”.

“It is good news that revenues have remained strong, not withstanding challenges in terms of the cost of living overall internationally,” he said.

“There are key sectors of the economy still doing very well, Foreign Direct Investment and so forth, increasing revenues.

“Buoyant revenue figures do give us some opportunity, and will give us an opportunity in the budget, and the cost of living package in September, to take pressure off people.”

Speaking in Dún Chaoin at the Blasket Island Centre in West Kerry, he said that the Government intends to bring in a budget with a “cost focus in terms of tax relief” and one that would reduce costs for families.

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured with Lorcán Ó Cinnéide from the OPW during his visit to the Blasket Islands

Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured with Lorcán Ó Cinnéide from the OPW during his visit to the Blasket Islands

Taoiseach Micheál Martin pictured with Lorcán Ó Cinnéide from the OPW during his visit to the Blasket Islands

"Parallel with that [the budget] there is a separate cost-of-living package, elements of which will apply this year, and people will feel the benefits of that package before the end of this year and, in some cases, immediately, to alleviate the pressures that are undoubtedly on many households across the country because of the energy crisis,” he said.

He said the energy crisis has come about due to the war in Ukraine and “Russia’s weaponisation of energy and food and migration”.

The Government is also considering the possibility of windfall tax on energy companies’ high profits in the budget.

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“The Government will consider a range of issues and will give examination to the issue of windfall tax,” he said

"…we do want significant investment in renewables into the future but, that said, I think there are significant profits being made all round, and we will examine that in the context of the budget”.

He said that the Government already takes a dividend off state companies, such as ESB.

Meanwhile, speaking about the housing crisis, the Taoiseach underlined the Government's commitment to deliver 33,000 houses annually.

"We have a lot planning permissions being granted, we need those planning permissions turned into houses as soon as we possibly can,” he said.

“So delivery is where I am focused on, and we should make about 24,500 houses this year in 2022, but we need to be getting to 33,000 or even higher every year for the next 10 years to put a dent in the housing issue, and we need different modalities of houses from the modular to the conventional to timber frames.”

The Taoiseach is on a two-day trip to Kerry, where he visited the Blasket Island on Thursday morning. He also launched a new book and CD entitled ‘Beauty an Oileáin’ which brings the musical traditions of the islanders to life.


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