More targeted measures to tackle the cost of living would save the government money and help those "most grieved", Ivana Bacik TD has said.
The comments come as Budget 2023 is rumoured to include three €200 payments for all households to help with energy bills throughout the winter.
Speaking to On The Record, the Labour politician outlined her own party's take on the energy crisis.
"Clearly any measures that alleviate the hardship facing so many families and households across the country would be welcome", she said.
"But certainly we in Labour would have questions about whether this is the best way of alleviating hardship."
She said that the last €200 worth of energy credits cost the government €400 million.
"If there's now a proposal to put three different payments of €200, clearly that will be of assistance to families, but it's not targeted so as to support those most at risk of energy poverty."
"There are other measures the government could adopt which would go further."
Changing the income threshold for who is eligible for the fuel allowance would have "a greater impact", according to Labour.
Deputy Bacik also suggests a windfall tax on energy companies' "excessive" profits.
She acknowledges that making people apply for fuel allowance would create a delay and that a universal approach is "easier".
However, the government should "look very carefully" at "the principle of expansion of eligibility".
She said that increasing the income limit to receive fuel allowance to €250 would cost the government €15 million but would "assist those who are currently most grieved".
"Asleep at the wheel"
Deputy Bacik said that the government's lack of desire to impose a windfall tax on energy company profits is "strange".
"I suppose it's symptomatic of a sense, at government level, that they've been asleep at the wheel, or asleep at the handlebars, in the face of this energy crisis."
She said that "months ago" the possibility of rising energy crisis was "very clear".
"It is long passed time for government to start introducing the sort of emergency measures that actually other countries have already introduced."
Listen back to the full conversation here.
Main image shows Labour Leader Ivana speaking at the Dail plinth outside Leinster House. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie