Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking during the annual National Economic Dialogue held in Dublin Castle. RollingNews.ie photo

Resources Not Unlimited Says Martin

The Irish government does not have unlimited financial resources, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said as he looks ahead to this year’s budget.

With Budget 2023 due in the autumn, Martin used his address at this year’s National Economic Dialogue in Dublin Castle to speak about the “difficult period” that lies ahead with rising inflation and the economic consequences brought about by the war in Ukraine.

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He told those gathered that the most vulnerable will be prioritized in the time ahead.

“The truth is we don’t know what might unfold in the global economy over the coming months and years, but there are clear dangers already apparent within the eurozone, and across other developed economies,” he said.

Looking ahead to Budget 2023, he added that there is “much to ponder."

Martin said: “We must ensure that our people are supported in the face of rising costs of living, that the services they expect are effectively delivered and enhanced, and that we are making the investments necessary to ensure a prosperous future.

“Our resources though are not limitless, nor is our capacity as a small country. We need to prioritize and manage carefully our resources, while ensuring we protect those most vulnerable.

“Above all the choices we make must be sustainable, not just next year but for the years to come, for our society, for the economy, for the climate, and also fiscally.

“This Budget will be a cost of living budget, and it will also be framed against, and must contribute to, a larger perspective, of medium and longer-term challenges, including climate, demography, housing and public service demands, and economic changes.”

The taoiseach said that the government wants to work with trade unions, employers and other stakeholders “in responding to these unprecedented challenges."

He added: “The government is disappointed that talks on public sector pay haven’t yet reached an agreed outcome. The government is determined to strike the right balance and to achieve a deal that is fair and affordable to both taxpayers generally and public service employees.”