Finance Minister Michael McGrath said that so far over 7,000 businesses have registered for the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme, which was announced in the Budget.
The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) aims to assist businesses with their energy costs during the winter months.
Speaking on Morning Ireland, Mr McGrath said the first payments under the scheme will be issued tomorrow by Revenue.
He said there are many more businesses who qualify for the scheme and he appealed to them to register with Revenue and submit claims.
“We do believe that there are many many more businesses out there who qualify for this scheme and the overall message I want to convey is that this is a scheme that is there to help businesses,” the Minister said.
“It is designed to protect jobs, to help them with the energy bills they are facing,” he said.
We want them to engage with their professional advisors, with their accountants, to register with the Revenue, to submit the claims and we want to pay out this money to the businesses that need it most,” he added.
Asked what additional help can be given to people who are struggling financially, Mr McGrath said the focus is on implementing the Budget and there are a range of Budget measures that are yet to be implemented.
“It was a Budget with €11 billion of new measures, €4 billion of which represented exceptional once-off interventions. Some of them have already been implemented across all of the different social welfare schemes,” he said.
Minister McGrath said inflation really hurts people and businesses and it makes life really difficult for people.
“It has a disproportionate impact on the poor and that’s why we did bring forward a Budget that was designed to bring additional benefits to people on low incomes,” he stated.
He said the assessment by the ESRI and by other bodies found that it was a “progressive Budget”.
“When they looked at the distributional impact of all of the measures we introduced, the greatest benefit was provided to those that needed the most but of course we have to keep all of this under review, we don’t know what will happen for sure in terms of inflation, the war in Ukraine,” he said.
“We know interest rates are rising, there will be a lot of challenges for people over the period ahead,” he added.
Minister McGrath said we are now in another crisis where the level of inflation has hit a 40 year high.
The newly appointed Minister for Finance has said he is aware of the level of responsibility that comes with managing the nations finances and he will do everything he can to perform to the best of his ability.
“I’m acutely conscious of the level of responsibility that comes with the post and the responsibility for managing the economy and managing the nations finances and I just want to assure people I will give it my all and do everything I possibly can to perform to the best of my ability,” he said.
Mr McGrath, who is the first Fianna Fáil Minister for Finance since the late Brian Lenihan, also said he will bring his own style and approach to the job.