The weather was notably fresher today, a harbinger perhaps of the coming winter. It was also fitting for a Budget that's been delivered earlier than normal to prepare households and businesses for what's coming.

The overall numbers are big. The basic Budget package of permanent increases in expenditure and tax measures came to €6.9 billion, only slightly above the figure set out in the Summer Economic Statement and €4.1 billion in once-off measures.

That's part of overall government expenditure set out in the Budget of €112.8 billion next year.

The Government will still take in more than it spends so it's penciled in a surplus of €6.2 billion in 2023.

The backdrop to the Budget has changed significantly.

The Department of Finance has increased its outlook for inflation to average out at 8.5% this year, peaking at 10.4% towards the end of this year. And it's forecast to remain high out into next year, averaging 7.1%.

The other standout change to the department's forecasts is for Modified Domestic Demand (MDD). While its forecast for this year has been upgraded due to increased investment by some companies, next year the forecast is for MDD to grow by just 1.2%. This is a significant downgrade on the forecast made in April which was for growth of 3.9%.

Both these measures, inflation and growth, in the domestic economy, paint the scene for what will inevitably be a difficult winter for many.

This all means that the many measures which make up the €4.1 billion once-off package, the €12 weekly increase in social protection payments and the widening of the standard rate income tax band will inevitably be measured against the rate of inflation.

This is despite all of these payments and tax changes being far in excess of what might be expected in budgets before we entered the age of crises.

That's what inflation does. It means the real value of people's incomes will fall.

The other notable initiative is the rebirth of the Rainy Day Fund as the National Reserve Fund and its restocking with €6 billion for the next crisis.

Both the expenditure and the saving for an inclement day are only possible because of the incredible increase in corporation tax this year and into the immediate future. This, about which the Department of Finance has become increasingly jittery, underpins this entire Budget.

For the first time, the department has calculated where the public finances would be without this 'windfall' of corporation tax. That's a term to describe the extra amount of corporation tax which can't be easily explained by the underlying performance of the economy.

Without the windfall, there would be a deficit of €8 billion this year while next year there would be a deficit of €3.8 billion.

The biggest question, which the Budget can't answer (or anyone else for that matter...) is what happens to energy costs next year. Until we know that, which probably won't be until sometime into 2023, we really won't know if these once-off measures will really be once-off and how much we can afford to shield ourselves from their worst effects.

Full Budget 2023 coverage