Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys has said the Government will continue to monitor the rising cost of living into next year, and that if extra measures are needed it will act.

Ms Humphreys was speaking this morning at an announcement where she outlined details of the double child benefit payment announced in the budget, worth €280, which is being paid from today.

The payment in respect of 1.2 million children across the State will cost €170 million and will assist almost 640,000 families.

A number of cost-of-living measures announced as part of Budget 2023 are due to take effect this month, with the first of three €200 electricity credits also starting to appear on people's bills.

Ms Humphreys said the double child benefit payment will assist working families, adding that many working parents would usually not benefit from other social welfare payments.

Asked if wealthy individuals should consider gifting this extra money back to the state, she said that the payment would reach many households that need it, but that her Department could give details on how other people could give it back.

Ms Humphreys said that a more targeted approach would have required Government to choose a "cut-off point", meaning there would have been winners and losers.

Opposition parties also proposed a double payment of child benefit in their alternative budgets in September.

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane welcomed today's move, however she warned that many families will already have spent this money before they have received it.

"Minister Humphreys needs to put additional resources in place to ensure the timely payment of emergency payments such as the Additional Needs Payment to ensure that those in receipt of social welfare and at work can access financial assistance when they need it," she said.

"This should include the return of Community Welfare Officers to the community."

Later this month, lump-sum welfare payments are due to carers, those living alone, people with disabilities and those in receipt of the working family and fuel allowance payments, ahead of what will be an expensive winter.

Spokesperson for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service Michelle O'Hara said that people are seeing their financial "buffer" at the end of the week "slowly being eaten away".

Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, Ms O'Hara said that "people's level of disposable income that they would have had at the end of every week or every month is just slowly being eaten away and that level of buffer is just not there at the moment and that's where the challenges lie".

She said that the "opportune time" to contact MABS is before a person actually runs into difficulty, but thinks that it may happen down the line.

"What we're trying to do is encourage people before running into difficulty. If you're just thinking that you might run into difficulty, it's the opportune time to get in contact with MABS," she said.

Ms O’Hara added that the number of people who are in employment now turning to MABS for support has increased.