Rebecca Black, PA
A €20 increase in social welfare payments has been ruled out, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys has indicated.
Speaking ahead of the unveiling of the budget on Tuesday, Ms Humphreys said that agreement around the social welfare provisions has not yet been reached, and talks will continue.
Saturday saw thousands of people take to the street in Dublin calling for action to ease the cost-of-living crisis.
Ms Humphreys said that a strong package of measures will be put in place to ease the pressures people are facing in terms of the rising cost of living, and that there will also be an increase in the social welfare payments.
Asked about the €20 increase to core social welfare payments which has been called for, Ms Humphreys told RTÉ’s This Week programme that such an increase would cost more than €1.5 billion, adding this would mean less for targeted measures such as a fuel allowance increase.
She said the €20 increase for social welfare payments would be “very ambitious”.
“No matter what we do, it will never be enough,” she added.
Ms Humphreys indicated that a double child benefit payment is under consideration.
Meanwhile, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton said there will be a “substantial intervention” in next week’s budget.
“We know that times are tough, people are experiencing high energy bills… there are huge pressures on people right across the country,” she told RTÉ’s The Week In Politics.
“This budget will be focused on protecting families, protecting the most vulnerable, also ensuring that working people can keep more of their own hard-earned money.”