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15th Sep 2022

Michael O’Leary: €200 energy subsidies for “rich people like me” not the way out of cost of living crisis

Stephen Porzio

The Ryanair CEO called on the Government to cut spending and “not waste it on rich people like me”.

As the cost of living crisis continues to dominate headlines in the run-up to Budget 2023, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has weighed in on the topic.

Speaking to Virgin Media News, he urged the Government not to stoke inflation, calling on them to cut spending and “not waste it on rich people” like him.

“I think Governments can’t insulate consumers from the effects of inflation,” he said.

“The more you try to insulate consumers by giving them blank cheques to pay for it, the more you drive inflation forward.

“We’re all going to have to cut our cloth. Interest rates are going to rise.

“And I think you’ll see consumers adjust pretty quickly to these new realities but there is no doubt this is going to be a very difficult winter.”

O’Leary also stated that, while energy prices in particular are at high levels, he is “old enough” to remember oil at $130 a barrel.

“The idea that the end of the world is nigh is a little bit overblown,” he added.

The CEO was then asked if the Government is intervening too much in the cost of living crisis.

“I think Governments have to be very careful, particularly in this year’s budget, not to stoke inflation by having too much spending going on.

“We all need to tighten our belts and I think there’s no other way out of this other than to eliminate needless spending.

“And the Government giving €200 energy subsidies to rich people like me is not the way out of this.

“It is for Government to cut spending, not waste it on rich people like me.”

Budget 2023 will be announced on Tuesday, 27 September.

Last week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the Government was working on a one-off “multibillion euro” budget package to respond to the cost-of-living crisis.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin would not commit to a final figure that will be dedicated to cost-of-living measures in the budget, saying there will be Government meetings this week on the matter.

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