Families can’t take a summer of budget kite flying
Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash has demanded that government commit to bringing forward a budget to this summer in recognition of the real financial crisis many families are facing right now.
Deputy Nash said families have been left behind and let down by the government and need serious intervention before the back to school costs kick in.
Deputy Nash said:
“With multiple senior sources already stirring the pot on the date of this year’s budget, it’s time for government to do the right thing for people and provide certainty by bringing forward the budget to this summer.
“Government sources maintain we are facing a winter of discontent, however the reality is that hard working families are facing into a cruel summer between rising childcare costs, back to school costs, and simply keeping food on the table.
“The last thing anxious low and middle income earners need is a summer of kite-flying on pre-budget promises. Indeed, the hot air we will see generated by government Ministers backbenchers over the summer could probably heat half the homes in the country and silly season hasn’t even started yet.
“The cost of living crisis isn’t a joke or a game for people. Government is playing with people’s lives. People have their own household budgets to draw up and they need certainty to plan for the winter ahead.
“Labour has made a number of positive suggestions to government which would take some of the pressure off for people – adjustments to the fuel allowance, paving the way to a public childcare system as well as our consistent calls for a pay rise for all workers.
“Once the Summer Economic Statement is complete, there is nothing stopping government from making a move on the budget and bringing clarity for everyone.
“Parents are already dreading the return to school in September. Between the cost of books, uniforms and school lunches, parents are cutting back on the basics and leaving food they can’t afford at the checkout.
“We need a commitment from government to broaden the threshold for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance in recognition of the fact that more and more people are struggling. It certainly can’t be our children who pay the price for government paralysis.
“The last time Fianna Fáil were in government, we routinely had two budgets a year when the country was in a the depths of a financial crisis. Now when families are in a financial crisis, we have to wait until October.
“It’s simply not good enough. People are working as hard as ever just to get through the week. When will government start working for the people?”