This coming Budget will be formed in an economic climate which is without precedent in recent decades, with many challenges facing us. Inflation has reached its highest level in decades, not just in Ireland but across the European Union, the US and other countries. The pandemic has caused significant supply chain disruption and a glut of demand from pent up savings, both of which have contributed to upward pressure in costs faced by households and businesses. These legacy challenges from the pandemic have been multiplied by the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war, which first and foremost has led to a devastating humanitarian cost, has also created a substantial economic cost, as the wider geopolitical conflict with Russia has led to sharp increases in energy prices in particular, which in turn are beginning to pass through into food and commodity prices, and the wider economy.