Taoiseach Micheál Martin has dismissed suggestions that Budget 2022 is going to be a give-away, warning that "there will not be something for everybody in the audience".

Speaking in Slovenia, he said that while the economy is rebounding and revenues will be stronger than expected: "That will not change our fiscal parameters in terms of this budget."

The Taoiseach told journalists that the Government had set "a finite limit" which included "a billion extra in expenditure and about half a billion in tax [measures]".

He added: "We obviously have to focus on the welfare side of it, particularly on energy, and Minister McGrath, Minister Paschal Donohoe, [Minister] Humphreys and others will be working on that aspect of the budget, because even today and last evening... the energy crisis is an issue across Europe."

Mr Martin said there had been "a consensus" among EU leaders that member states needed to engage with the energy issue and the commission was now charged with preparing proposals for the next council meeting for both short-term and medium term measures to deal with the problem.

The Taoiseach also said he would not pre-empt any decision set to be made at Cabinet tomorrow surrounding Ireland's corporate tax rate.

On the OECD process, he said: "We indicated that we felt that the language particular around 'at least' was not acceptable to us.

"We made that clear to other leaders and that language has been removed, so that does improve the situation significantly from our perspective."

Ireland supports Balkan 'accession agenda'

Earlier, the Taoiseach said Ireland supports the "accession agenda" which could lead to six Balkan countries ultimately joining the European Union.

Speaking at the informal EU leaders summit in Slovenia, Mr Martin said that Ireland has "benefitted hugely" from EU membership and "it is our view that we cannot stop others from joining".

The leaders from Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Kosovo attended today's session.

Mr Martin said: "I think it is important, in the broader geo-political situation, the need for the EU... to embrace its neighbourhood."

He added: "Particularly countries that have had a strong preference and orientation towards the European Union for a quite considerable length of time.

"Our position is that we are favourably disposed towards opening negotiations towards accession in particularly in terms of Albania, North Macedonia and others."

While Serbia and Montenegro have opened accession talks with the EU, this has yet to happen for Albania and North Macedonia.

Kosovo and Bosnia-Hercegovina are further back in the process and are only called "candidate countries" for accession.


Read more:
Balkan states struggling with EU impasse on membership


Parliamentary party meetings

This evening, there were calls at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting for major investment in childcare.

TD John Lahart said there had to be a Donogh O'Malley moment in the provision of childcare for all.

There were calls too for pension increases in the budget and to make student grants available to more families.

Éamon Ó Cuív suggested that mortgage costs could be taken into account when a family's income is being assessed for the grant.

At the Fine Gael party meeting, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was urged to be cautious with Budget spending.

TD Charlie Flanagan is understood to have told the meeting that the Government cannot give in to every demand and there cannot be a runaway train on public spending.

The tone of the meeting was described as tense at times with the discussion summed up as full and frank.