The Economic and Social Research Institute has found that Budget 2021 will benefit lowest income families the most. 

In its post-Budget briefing, the institute said the disproportionate impact of increases in the carbon tax on lower income households will be cushioned by increases in social protection payments for families and the living alone allowance. 

The ESRI said about half the cost of dealing with increased unemployment since the pandemic has been accounted for by the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and about half from the existing benefit system. 

It estimated the net cost to the Exchequer per month is €839m. 

The ESRI reseach also found that the existing social protection system has done a "good job" in supporting the incomes of the lowest income households. 

But it warned that removing the PUP at the end of March next year may lead to an increase in inequality and poverty in the absence of a recovery in the jobs market. 

It also warned that extending the EWSS for too long runs the risk of the Government propping up unviable companies. 

The ESRI found that men have been more affected by employment losses in the short-term than women. 

However, it warned that female participation in the workforce may have decreased due to the closure of childcare facilities. This, it believes, could have a knock-on impact on the gender wage and work gap.