The Taoiseach has said it is his preference to wait until October's Budget before introducing any further measures to ease the cost of living, saying the Government's intention is to introduce a "comprehensive" package at that time.

Micheál Martin also denied that a plan has been introduced to make a Christmas bonus-type payment to welfare recipients in the coming weeks, saying "that hasn't been discussed by the Government at all".

The next economic "milestone" will be the Government's summer economic statement, he said, which will indicate the level of resources available to ministers for the rest of the year and going into next year.

He said there would be meetings this week to discuss the summer economic statement.

The Taoiseach said the Government aims "to deliver a cost of living Budget that will deal comprehensively with many of the issues people are facing at the moment".

Budget 2023 is due to be announced in October.

Saying the Government recognised the "huge pressures" on people, Mr Martin said the intention is for many Budget interventions to take immediate affect once announced.

He said the Government has already introduced relief measures worth about €2.4 billion since the last Budget.

"The next Budget should be a cost of living one but we do need to identify what's available and also work through the departmental expenditure profiles because that's important also in terms of how we deal with issues like childcare, how we deal with issues like housing, education, in terms of the cost of all of those for families."

Asked if he is ruling out further measures before the Budget, he replied: "As I said, the Government aim is to have a comprehensive Budget that deals with all of this."

Whatever initiatives are introduced later in the year must be targeted, he said.

"Some of it will be temporary, to get people over the immediate situation, but I think to do that we need to do it in a broad range of areas and do it comprehensively and that is the preference right now, to come forward with a comprehensive package, not to be doing something every single month, because we can't chase inflation like we did in the 1970s and then put up with a decade of inflation, no-one ends up better off.

"We have an economy with full employment, we need to make sure we underpin that, as we alleviate the pressures on people, I think the immediate application of budget measures will help in that regard."

When it was pointed out that the Budget is not for another three-and-a-half months and that many people want help in the meantime, he said: "I think if the application of measures is this year, I think that will help but, as I said, doing something month to month, because there will be pressures in September, October and November, also, particularly in terms of heating homes and in terms of broad energy and food issues, so what we do has to be comprehensive and has to last for a significant period of time and help people over a period of time."

No debate as State the 'biggest actor' on housing

After President Michael D Higgins was critical of housing in Ireland earlier this week, describing it as "our great failure", asked today if he thought President Higgins went too far with his remarks, Mr Martin said: "I'm not getting into a debate with the President. The constitutional framework doesn't allow for that and I don't think it would be appropriate."

He said that the Government was very conscious of the situation in housing and was building more houses than ever before compared to recent years.

"In the Programme for Government we identified housing as one of our key, if not the key, priority and all hands in Government are working to deliver a record number of housing this year compared to recent times, and particularly social housing.

"The State is the biggest actor in housing right now."