Cabinet to discuss energy measures for businesses
The Tánaiste will update the Cabinet this morning on proposals to help firms deal with spiralling energy costs.
The measures are expected to be finalised in just under a fortnight and will be outlined in the Budget.
Leo Varadkar is likely to tell his Government colleagues that the energy inflation crisis is comparable to Covid for many firms.
It is understood the Government response will involve low-cost loans, a scheme targeted at energy intensive exporters and manufacturers and special measures for smaller and medium sized businesses.
Energy prices will also be the dominant issue when the Dáil resumes after the summer recess with the House tonight debating a Sinn Féin motion on proposals to assist households pay their bills.
The Cabinet will also approve its legislative programme for the months ahead.
The legislative priority list will be brought to Government by Chief Whip Jack Chambers.
Legislation to support people through the cost of living and energy challenges is set to be prioritised by the Government this term.
While legislation such as the Planning and Development Bill and the Human Tissue Bill which will update organ donation and transplantation procedures are also expected to progress through the Oireachtas this autumn.
Meanwhile, the Mandate trade union has said the increase in the minimum wage is “concerning” as it does not go far enough.
The Cabinet is set to approve an €0.80 rise to the minimum wage, bringing it to €11.30 per hour from the beginning of next year.
Mandate Assistant General Secretary Jonathan Hogan said it is “a disgraceful attempt” at addressing low pay and said €11.30 per hour “simply doesn’t go far enough”.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said that Mandate had called for the minimum wage to be €14 as a living wage, which was a 9% increase of the €12.90 living wage, determined by the Living Wage Technical Group, and would take account of the cost-of-living increases.
“Most of our members are already only working between 27 or 29 hours per week. So, at €11.30 you will be earning just over €17,000. Which is just completely unacceptable.”