No mini-Budget in January, says Taoiseach

Taoiseach refuses to commit to spending windfall tax on cost-of-living measures
No mini-Budget in January, says Taoiseach

Daniel McConnell, Political Editor, Irish Examiner speaking to An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD at the irish Examiner stand at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in the RDS, Dublin. Picture Dan Linehan

The Taoiseach has ruled out a mini-Budget in January and has not committed to using any proceeds from an EU-mandated windfall tax to pay for cost of living measures.

Speaking at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in Dublin's RDS, Micheál Martin told the media that this week's Budget would be used to "get us through the winter". The Government on Tuesday announced its 2023 Budget which commits to a one-off package of cost-of-living measures as well as a near €7 billion tax and spending programme.

"We don't see a mini Budget in January," he said. "We will keep everything under review in terms of the wider international situation, the war in Europe, if it deteriorates, if other events happen.

We are worried about the situation in Ukraine. But there will be no weakening in terms of support for Ukraine, but it does make for a very uncertain situation. We only saw recently, in the UK... that markets are volatile, they're watching every decision very carefully. I think we've taken a very steady approach here. 

"But there are still challenges - I mean markets across Europe are not as strong as they would have been a year ago. So we're an exporting nation, we're very conscious of potential difficulties. And we've seen how things can go wrong quickly. So we're taking nothing for granted."

Asked about how he foresees spending the proceeds of a windfall tax, Mr Martin said that it will "take some time" for the funding to come into the Government's coffers and a decision will be made when it does.

Irish Unity

Asked about an event on Irish unity in Dublin taking place today at which he will not be speaking, the Taoiseach said that he did not believe anyone should be "browbeaten" into appearing at certain events to be taken seriously on the North. He said that he is "fully self confident" in his bona fides on the future of the island and was a member of the Cabinet when the Good Friday Agreement was agreed.

"I've been involved in all that. I mean, we shouldn't be browbeating people to say you've got to be there. I have a view as well as everybody else. I wish everybody the best of luck. I have no issue with discussing these issues."

Mr Martin added that he sees Fianna Fáil making up at least part of the next government and said that the situation is "all to play for" electorally.

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