Sinn Féin have called for a double child benefit payment to be included in Budget 2024.
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, Pearse Doherty said last year’s Budget “didn’t provide adequately for households and families” and set out what Sinn Féin would do differently.
“We have a package of €1.35 billion between now and the end of the year,” he said.
“That takes the shape over a number of lump sum payments; so, the Christmas bonus would be paid - which is now normal every year but is never provided for in a budget.
“We’d also have a double payment of child benefit, we’d also have additional payments for additional categories of people from pensioners to carers to people with disabilities.
“Those with disabilities would get €500, carers €400… to help them through this period.”
Following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, sanctions on Russian fossil fuels meant the price of energy on the international wholesale market surged.
Costs have started to come down but Deputy Doherty said the Budget should be an opportunity to reduce them further.
“[We would] bring prices back to where they were pre-crisis period,” he said.
“The Government [should] make up the difference only of the cost of supplying the electricity.
“These models are done in countries across Europe, so it’s not about bonanza profits for companies.”
Deputy Doherty said energy companies would still be allowed to profit - but not the extent that they have in the past year.
“We’d be looking at the margins that would be there before the crisis,” he said.
“So, it’s any of these super margins that we’ve seen in the last few years as a result of the energy increases.”
Budget 2024 will be held on Tuesday October 10th.
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Main image: Pearse Doherty. Photo: RollingNews.ie