Regional Independent TD's have called on the Government to ensure that the Budget tackles the cost of living crisis and supports struggling families and businesses.

Members of the Dáíl's Regional Independent Group met Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath this afternoon.

The eight-member group called for a number of measures that it believes will help boost regional development.

Following the meeting, the group said that increased investment in agriculture must "clearly reflects the significant climate challenge faced by the sector between now and 2030", and called for €50m to be put into an agricultural emissions reduction fund.

The deputies also told the ministers that it "is imperative that welfare rates are increased to the equivalent of cost of living increases".

The group also wants the extension of the vacant homes grant to more rural areas, a 0% loan for home retrofits, free public transport for students and the extension of the 20% reduction in public transport fares to private operators.

In response, Ministers Donohoe and McGrath then "outlined the scope of the flexibility they have for Budget 2023", the group said in a statement.

Budget 2023 is due to take place on 27 September.

While the Exchequer's finances are in a better-than-expected state, the demands on this year's Budget are also significant, given the rise in the cost-of-living.

The group has met the ministers in previous years and said that its suggestions have been incorporated before.

The independent TDs, whose support has been come into sharper focus since the Government lost its overall majority, have said that they engage constructively.