All individuals earning up to €70,000 would get a cash payment to help with energy costs under Sinn Féin's Budget proposals published this morning.

The party is calling for payments of between €100 and €500 based on a person’s income, as well as a doubling of child benefit payments for the month of October.

The measures form part of its €4.1bn alternative cost-of-living package, the centrepiece of which is a proposal to cap electricity prices at summer 2021 levels and keep them there until the end of February.

The party said the State would compensate electricity suppliers for the difference between summer 2021 levels and the wholesale price that the suppliers themselves must pay to electricity generators at a cost of €1.6bn.

The party said the cost of living package would be funded using almost all of the €4.5bn surplus in the public finances predicted by the Fiscal Advisory Council for this year

Sinn Féin is proposing an overall Budget package of €9.4 billion for 2023, significantly higher than the €6.7bn planned by the Government.

This would include an increase in working-age social welfare payments of €17.50 per week and the state pension by €15 per week.

The party's income tax proposals are mainly focused on the Universal Social Charge.

It proposed a cut to the lowest rate of USC from 0.5% to 0% and increasing then entry point for the highest rate to €24,134.

The party proposed increasing employers PRSI on salaries above €100,000, introducing a 40% rate of capital gains tax on income above €500,000 and a 3% "solidarity tax" on income above €140,000.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Earlier, the party's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said there is a "big difference" between the measures that the Government is expected to announce in the Budget and Sinn Féin's alternative budget.

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Doherty said: "Our budget is a budget for the people. It's a budget for change.

"It's a budget that's about giving workers and families certainty to help them through the winter months, but also planning for the future."

He said that the Government had abandoned many families during the summer when they struggled to send children back to school.

On the issue of housing, Mr Doherty said that "rents are at runaway prices".

The Donegal TD insisted that the Government is not expected to do "anything substantial" in relation to renters.

"What we need and what we have been arguing for for years, we need the Government to reduce the cost of rents by putting a month's rent back into renters' pockets and freezing them for three years," he said.

He added that the State must also deliver 20,000 social affordable cost rental houses per annum.

"Government is failing to deliver on their own miserable targets," he said.

Mr Doherty said that a cap on electricity prices is both "doable" and "long overdue".

He said that this policy is being rolled out in other countries.

"Countries right across Europe are talking about giving price certainty and reducing prices for electricity for their customers," he said.

"This is part of the European package. Back in March, the European Commission announced that countries could do this," he added.

Mr Doherty said that Sinn Féin wants to bring prices back to "pre-crisis level".

This would equate with an annual reduction of €1,200, he added.