Social Justice Ireland is calling on the Government to prioritise the protection of the most vulnerable groups in society in October's Budget.

Launching a briefing document entitled 'Budget Choices 2023', the group says the Budget should include continued strategic investment in long-term infrastructure projects focused on social housing provision and achieving committed climate change targets alongside targeted cost of living measures.

CEO of Social Justice Ireland Seán Healy said: "The fiscal context for Budget 2023 is one of the most difficult in some time due to an uncertain social and economic outlook.

"The Budget must respond to the current cost of living challenges but also recognise uncertainties regarding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its legacy effects, geopolitical instability as a result of war in Ukraine, and an ongoing cost of living crisis through 2022 and 2023," he added.

The group is urging the Government to set a target that would see social housing account for 20% of the overall housing stock by 2030.

It is also calling for the doubling of 'Housing for All' targets for social housing and the winding down of the 'Help to Buy Scheme'.

Social Justice Ireland also wants to see targeted measures in the Budget to meet the ambitious goals of the climate action plan including the ending of fossil fuel subsidies and environmentally harmful tax expenditures.

In order to ease cost of living pressures, the group is calling for a €20 increase in core social welfare rates, the introduction of refundable tax credits and the introduction of a Living Wage at €12.90 per hour in Budget 2023.