Budget 2023 could be brought forward by up to a month, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has suggested.

It comes amid growing pressure from opposition parties to introduce measures this summer, to help tackle the cost of living crisis.

Minister Ryan also indicated some immediate measures – such as once-off fuel or food payments – can be introduced in autumn, while longer-term financial plans will kick in in January as normal.

He told Pat Kenny they will decide on changes to the timetable next week.

“We will decide it probably next week I would imagine.

“We’ve Cabinet and we would have to publish what’s called the Summer Economic Statement.

“That’s a very important signal as to what the economic situation is, and how much room in the budget does that give us for additional measures”.

He says doing everything now would not be the best move.

“I think it’s best to do it not in July – I think whether it’s September/October is a relatively minor change one way or the other.

“The opposition are also calling for doing everything now: I don’t think that would be the right thing for a variety of reasons.”

He believes going ahead with a budget now would disregard recent economic talks with the trade unions, NGOs, businesses and social partners.

“We all know that once that money is spent, it would restrict what you could do in September or October.

“So I think whether it’s September [or] October, we’ll decide next week”.

Inflation set to drop into 2023

He says price rises as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will continue.

“People unfortunately are going to see that in their gas bills particularly, also there’s a knock-on consequence for the electricity bill.

“The autumn period, and the winter period, is the critical one that we need to provide the supports.

“Similar to what we did last year”.

But he says inflation is expected to drop into 2023.

“There’s a real expectation among most economists now that the inflationary figures will start to come down next year – exactly how much we don’t know.

“But some of those increases – particularly in energy and food – won’t be repeated, and therefore we do expect to see inflation coming down.

“So being able to do things in the autumn and early winter period I think is very important”.

Main image: Minister Eamon Ryan speaks during an interview with Reuters in his office in Dublin in October 2021. Picture by: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo/Clodagh Kilcoyne