Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall has said the rising cost of living requires a deep and urgent intervention.

Her party is proposing a scheme of cash payments for low and middle income workers.

Social Democrats TDs and councillors held a think-in ahead of the return of the Dáil next week.

The party is calling for an energy crisis subsidy modelled on Covid-19 schemes.

Ms Shortall said payments could be made to workers through payroll and employers would then be paid back by Revenue.

She said this would be the most efficient way of helping employees and businesses.

Speaking in Dublin, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said there are three linked crises in energy, housing and cost of living.

The party is also calling for a €15 increase in the fuel allowance as well as a widening of eligibility.

Asked whether they would lead the party into the next election, the co-leaders said that was the plan,
although Ms Murphy added that the dual leadership model was "not set in stone".