Government must act on Labour Plan to cut the Cost of Living

05 February 2022
  • Action not words needed to fix cost of living crisis

10 days after voting down Labour’s plan to tackle the cost of living in the Dáil, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson, Ged Nash said the government must take real action now act with a VAT cut on energy and fuel, along with increases to wages and social welfare payments.

Deputy Nash said:

“After voting down Labour’s plan to tackle the rising cost of living at the end of January, the government is now engaged in a massive U-turn, but we need action now and not just more words or small gestures.

“They’ve finally woken up to the soaring cost of living which is good, but ordinary workers and families can’t afford more piecemeal measures. The €100 off electricity bills doesn’t go any way far enough when energy bills are up by a third.

“Labour put forward a comprehensive plan to tackle rising prices. Grocery bills are through the roof, rent is at record levels and the cost of filing up is putting real pressure on family budgets. Without action by the government to cut VAT on energy and fuel, and inflation busting pay increases it is ordinary working people who will lose out.

“Last October Labour also called for a major expansion of eligibility in the fuel allowance. Only now are the government waking up to the crisis facing those on fixed incomes. The budget increases to the minimum wage and social welfare payments have already been eaten up by inflation, so they must be addressed now with increases that match the rise in the cost of living.

“When inflation increases, it hits those on the low and fixed incomes the hardest because they spend more of their wages on food and energy. The government is making windfall gains on VAT, companies are protecting their profits with price rises, but it is ordinary people who are expected to tighten their belt and not demand wage rises. Unless the government acts to protect people then the inevitable result is a price rise spiral.”

“The future of how work in Ireland is organised is one of the great issues of our times. We know that workers need more money in their pockets and negotiated pay increases are central to that. We also must develop stronger remote and flexible work protections. These protections not only make social and environmental sense we believe they are an economic no brainer that will make a massive dent in the cost of living for commuters and workers across the country.”

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