The Green Party will seek to block the introduction of a fourth €200 electricity credit this summer in crucial talks on a new cost-of-living package for households, can reveal.

Ahead of a key meeting of Coalition leaders and senior ministers today to discuss a new financial package to offset the effects of inflation, the Greens will argue the rollout of any further universal support to households to offset their energy bills should be delayed until later in the year.

The party will instead argue the most vulnerable families should be prioritised for support in the coming weeks through the existing social welfare system with measures such as extra fuel allowance payments and increases in the one-family payment likely to feature as part of discussions.

The Greens’ position is that it would make sense for the Coalition to wait until autumn and winter to roll out further universal energy support to households when utility bills are likely to be higher, with a focus on the most vulnerable households in the interim.

Households are set to receive the last of three €200 credits on their electricity bills next month and April.

The €600 of credits were announced in last September’s Budget, but there has been pressure from Fine Gael ministers in recent weeks to consider a further €200 credit in light of indications that the fall in wholesale energy prices will not have an effect on household bills for another 18 months to two years.

A double child-benefit payment in May, a doubling of all social welfare payments, as well as once-off payments of targeted welfare supports for low-income families in the coming weeks are among the measures likely to be discussed by the three Coalition leaders and Ministers Michael McGrath, Paschal Donohoe and Heather Humphreys when they meet today.

Government set to unveil fresh cost-of-living measures on Tuesday – Varadkar

Windfall tax on energy companies to fund up to €600m in new cost-of-living measures

The Government has committed to avoiding a cliff edge at the end of this month when a number of measures announced in last year’s Budget are due to expire, including cuts to Vat on hospitality, electricity and gas, as well as reductions in excise duty on petrol and diesel and the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS).

Ministers have already privately signalled that excise duty cuts will be extended until later in the year along with the TBESS programme which is likely to see changes to its eligibility criteria in order to allow more companies avail of State financial support to offset their utility bills.

But there is growing doubt that the Vat cut for the tourism and hospitality sector will be extended despite calls to do so from the Green Party’s Tourism Minister Catherine Martin.

The sector was making a last-minute push to convince Fianna Fáil to insist on maintaining the 9pc Vat for the industry.

All Fianna Fáil TDs and senators were in favour of extending the 9pc rate for the tourism and hospitality industry during their meeting with sectoral representatives, it is understood.

Industry representatives were unable to secure a meeting with the Fine Gael parliamentary party, however, although TDs and senators in Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s party have argued for an extension of the Covid-era tax cut for bars, restaurants and hotels

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Mr Varadkar said there will be a series of targeted measures and universal ones, because middle-income households are experiencing the rise in the cost of living like everyone else.

Mr Varadkar last night told the Fine Gael parliamentary party that universal and targeted cost of living supports must be affordable for the taxpayer and sufficient to help people and businesses to the next budget.

He said expectations in what might come need to be tempered and said it will not be on the scale of a budget or mini-budget.

The Taoiseach pointed out that 25 interventions have been made by the Government on the cost of living.

Government set to unveil fresh cost-of-living measures on Tuesday – Varadkar

Windfall tax on energy companies to fund up to €600m in new cost-of-living measures

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