It "wasn't possible" to introduce a mechanism to allow high earners to opt out of the €100 energy credit, the Public Expenditure Minister has claimed.
Michael McGrath has acknowledged that some people getting the credit won't actually need it.
He was speaking ahead of an announcement later today of further measures aimed at addressing the rising cost of living.
The measures will be a mix of targeted ones aimed at lower-income households and other 'universal' ones.
It is expected they will include an increase in the electricity grant to each household, potentially doubling it to €200.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Minister McGrath was asked about concerns that the previously-announced credit will apply to all households.
He said there will “certainly” be people who don’t need it, but the Government was told by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities that an ‘opt out’ mechanism wasn’t possible.
He said: “You could go to an enormous amount of effort and time to carve out a certain percentage of people at the top so they don’t benefit… but most people are in the middle.
“Many are struggling… I understand that, and the Government understands that. So that’s why there will be a universal element to the package today.”
The minister said it's also important the new measures are implemented "quickly", as now is the time of the year when people need help with their heating and energy bills.
He observed: “We need to intervene, but we need to do it in a careful way. We need to make sure that any steps we take will help rather than make the situation worse.
“The overall assessment from economists generally is that inflation will moderate and reduce as the year goes by. But that’s no consolation to people today.”
Government TD Neasa Hourigan yesterday called for the Government to go further and announce a 'mini-budget' to address the soaring cost of living.
Deputy Hourigan said that would allow for extra measures such as rises in the minimum wage and child benefit payments.
Minister McGrath said today's announcements won’t be a budget or even a mini-budget, but “it will be the Government spending more money”.