Budget 2023 MESL Pre-Budget Submission

Issued: June 2022

Budget 2023



Budget 2023 is being prepared at a time of exceptional rises in living costs. This submission builds on the evidence from the MESL to detail the rate adjustments which are required to protect households from being pushed further into income inadequacy. The recommendations focus primarily on maintaining the current real value of social welfare supports, relative to the changing cost of minimum basket as established in the MESL.

Compared to 2021, the cost of a MESL has increased for all household types in 2022, by an average of 5%, and the annual rate of change is forecast to reach 11% by the end of 2022. This rate of increase is being driven by increases in the cost of home energy and food, which makeup a greater proportion of the MESL basket compared to the CPI average household basket.

The external factors driving the exceptional increases in the cost-of-living are well documented and present unprecedented challenges to households on low and fixed incomes being pushed further into income inadequacy and poverty. However, the issue of income inadequacy is not new and the gap between incomes and the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living will grow if the Government response does not adequately invest in our social protection system to ensure more people are not pulled into poverty and pushed deeper into hardship.