The government has signed off on a 1.3 billion euro cost of living package.

There will be a 200 euro lump sum payment to welfare recipients and a 100 euro extra payment of child benefit.

The reduced 9 per cent VAT rate for hospitality is being kept until the end of August, with a warning it will be the last extension of the lower rate.

While VAT increases on energy have been delayed, there will be a phased reintroduction of excise on petrol and diesel starting in June.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended the spend against accusations it doesn't help working families who aren't entitled to a welfare benefit:



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