The Taoiseach has warned that the cost-of-living crisis could last into the spring of 2023.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time, Micheál Martin said Russia’s approach to gas and the uncertainty around the price of energy meant the situation could get worse before it gets better.
“We think the winter is going to be very difficult. We have to really look at this over the medium term,” he said.
Mr Martin said the Irish economy had recovered well from Covid-19 which meant the Government could “cushion people through the winter”.
He said a package to alleviate pressures would be outlined towards the end of September.
“We’ve taken some measures already,” he added.
“We do need a package that can alleviate pressures on families, in particular around childcare, social protection.”
Asked about the motion of confidence won by the Government earlier in the day, Mr Martin said he did not believe the public wanted a general election.
“If we had an election now we wouldn’t have the cost-of-living package and we wouldn’t have the budget.”
Defending the Government’s record on housing, he described the coalition’s approach as a “sea change”.
“I’d like to see an alternative, detailed plan from Sinn Féin. By the end of this year we will deliver around 8,000 social houses,” Mr Martin said.
He said housing commencements reached the highest level since 2008 last year and that initiatives like cost rental and the shared equity scheme would “be a help to young people in terms of affordability.”