Opposition parties have criticised the Government's Summer Economic Statement, saying the Government needs to go further, sooner.

The Government this evening announced the Budget will take place on 27 September, two weeks earlier than planned, and will involve €5.65 billion in spending and just over €1 billion in tax measures.

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty branded today’s announcement "disappointing", while Labour’s Ged Nash said moving the Budget forward by two weeks was a "token exercise" and more should be done now.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said "The Government cannot continue to put measures to help people get through this crisis on the long finger. They must intervene now as the end of September is too late. People are being hammered as we speak."

Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Mr Doherty said that while more time was needed to examine the numbers in the SES, it is clear that there is capacity for the Government to introduce targeted measures for the cost of living, as his party has been arguing.

He said that today's announcement was disappointing, as Budget day being brought forward by 14 days does not stop the fact people will still have to wait nearly three months to hear what the measures will be.

He said we are seeing record levels of inflation and people need support right now and suggested that the scale of the Budget needs to be increased.

He said if he was in charge, this week the Government should be announcing a €1.4bn euro package targeting low and middle income earners, along with other Sinn Féin policy measures on rent and childcare.

He said that as it stands, all children will be back at school before the Government even announces what it is planning to do, meaning there is "no help for parents between now and then".

Mr Nash, meanwhile, criticised planned tax reduction measures, saying: "Everyone from the ESRI to the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council have advised against inflationary cuts to taxes. It is especially wrongheaded when we are approaching technical full employment.

"The best way to support working households is not through tax cuts and a narrowing of the tax base but to provide targeted supports such as including more families in the Back to School Allowance and fuel allowance scheme through our sophisticated welfare and tax system, and cutting childcare costs for working parents."

Mr Boyd Barrett raised recent energy price increases, calling them "scandalous".

He said: "We want the Government to call the energy companies in and tell them that constant price increases are not acceptable and that they will be imposing a windfall tax on the energy company profits.

"If the Tory party in the UK can introduce a windfall tax, then surely Ireland can?"

His party colleague Paul Murphy called for the introduction of a wealth tax, saying: "Oxfam have said that the wealth of Ireland's nine billionaires has increased by a massive €15.55 billion since the start of the pandemic - a 44% increase.

"We would bring in a tax on the wealthiest individuals which would raise €5bn. This is vital money that could be redistributed so that people can manage through this cost of living crisis, build housing and deal with waiting lists in the health service."

In its response to the Summer Economic Statement and Exchequer returns published today, the Fiscal Council said "...much of the boost in tax revenues reflects strong corporation tax receipts. These should not be relied on to fund permanent spending increases. Overreliance on CT (Corporation Tax) should be reduced through contributions to the Rainy Day Fund or a new National Pension Reserve Fund".

On the planned 6.5% increase in spending, as a temporary exception to the 5% spending rule, the Council said: "...while the 5% rule provides a useful signal that it will not be possible to fully compensate for higher inflation, it is sensible to allow some leeway when inflation deviates too far from trend..."