I thank the Deputy for raising the issue. In the first instance, we as a society and a country have come through a once-in-a-century event in the pandemic, which in 2020 brought about the greatest recession since 1939. Thankfully, because of the Government's interventions to underpin the economy and support companies and the whole range of measures we brought in, the economy bounced back very significantly as we emerged from the emergency phase of Covid-19. A record number of jobs were created in the process.
Notwithstanding that, the pandemic has still left its impact. Economists in the European Central Bank, ECB, described it as a pandemic cycle of inflation caused by the imbalance of supply and demand in manufacturing and global supply chains across the world as economies and societies collectively and at the same time started endeavouring to come back and grow their economies with huge demand on products and so on. On top of the pandemic cycle of inflation came a war. It is a war unprecedented since the Second World War. It is having very serious impacts on the global economy, the EU economy and on Ireland's economy. It has, beyond any doubt, exacerbated the inflationary pressures on our economy, especially when it come to energy and to gas, oil and coal in particular. It is also feeding through into food security issues. That is concerning into the medium term. It is also affecting other commodities and products as well, such as wheat, corn, soya beans and so forth. Their prices are all going up because of this war.
The one thing we are certain about is the uncertainty. We cannot deal with this as a society on a week-to-week basis or on one tax alone, in isolation, as the Deputy has endeavoured to present it. That does not represent a coherent, sensible response of substance. What we actually require is an inclusive process involving the social partners and stakeholders in society to intelligently and sensibly respond to this crisis, now, in the middle of a war.
That means social dialogue, it means dealing with the pay issue, with welfare, tax and the costs across the economy that people have but it also means dealing with climate. We cannot ignore the climate issue in this respect. The tax to which the Deputy referred and the increase that is in the legislation this Oireachtas passed, would represent about €1.40 over a month. In the overall scheme of things, that is not the main issue by any yardstick and the Deputy admitted that herself on Sunday on RTÉ radio. She acknowledged that this was not anywhere near the very large increases we have experienced because of these global issues that are impacting on us.
The Government has responded. In the budget, we allocated €1 billion in tax and welfare changes. We agreed a further package of €500 million, including the €200 energy credit, which will start appearing on bills this month and which is essentially a cut in electricity bills, as well as a lump sum payment of €125 for those in receipt of the fuel allowance. On 9 March we announced a 20 cent reduction in the excise rate for petrol and a 15 cent reduction on auto diesel, with a proportionate reduction on the excise on green diesel. That will save consumers around €9 to €12 on every fill of petrol or diesel. Since coming into office, we have raised the fuel allowance from €630 to €1,039 and if one adds in the €200 rebate, that amounts to €1,239 for recipients of the fuel allowance.
The Government has moved very significantly on this but we do need a more comprehensive response now, which is the way we should go as a society.