The Finance Minister has rejected accusations of populism after it emerged every home in the country is set to be given €100 towards their first electricity bill of the New Year.
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar yesterday told the Dáil that households would be given financial support in the New Year – noting that there would be a focus on electricity because it is a bill everyone receives.
Reports this morning indicate that every household in the country will receive the €100 credit, regardless of their income.
The credit will only apply to domestic bills and the plan is expected to cost the Department of the Environment €200m.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said nothing has been agreed by Government yet.
“Yes, we are looking at some options in relation to, can we do something, particularly, in relation to bills at the end of this year and the start of next year,” he said.
“I can’t confirm some of the things that have been reported here today because they haven’t gone to Government yet.”
He said populism is the last thing the Government could be accused of – and noted that the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has said the Budget got the balance right between looking after our public finances and helping our country recover.
He admitted a hand-out to every household in the county is not a measure targeted at those who need it most – but claimed the Government has already made changes in social welfare and personal taxation that are targeted.
“As with many things at the moment, including the decision I made on COVID supports yesterday, if you are trying to act quickly it is not always possible to be as targeted as you might be if you had more time,” he said.
“We are aware as always that if we do make a decision in relation to how we can help further with the price of energy we will try to do it in a way that is targeted but at the same time I know these bills are going up,” he said.
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