Standards of living continue to drop as Government throws good money after bad

25 April 2023

Labour finance and enterprise spokesperson Ged Nash has demanded a national pay rise for all workers following an OECD report that suggests Irish households experienced a drop in living standards in 2022 as inflation overtakes pay.

Deputy Nash said hardworking people are running just to stand still.

Deputy Nash said:

“Labour has been arguing for months that Ireland needs a pay rise. The OECD is telling us that people are worse off as a result of Government failure to tackle the cost of living crisis. In an economy where wages are falling behind the rising cost of living and the profits of big companies keep rising at our expense, everyone is feeling the pinch.

“There will be plenty of backslapping in Government Buildings today as they throw around €1 billion to give the appearance of doing something on housing. But, as is typical of this Government’s approach, there will be more spin and bluster and very little change for working people.

“The reality is a huge amount of workers in low and middle income are struggling to put food on the table. So many people across Ireland are not able to cope with the dramatic increases in the cost of living. Government must get a grip on that through a national pay rise that should start with a significant increase to the National Minimum Wage. We all know wages are struggling to keep up with inflation with real incomes falling for the first time since 2013.

“There is also an urgent need to tackle price gouging. Everyday essentials like eggs, milk, butter, bread continue to increase. Food inflation has rocketed by 16 per cent in this country in the past year, far above the baseline rate of inflation. Labour has called on the CCPC to investigate price gouging and implement price caps for basic foods.

“Exceptional times call for exceptional measures to protect the living standards of workers and their families. The poorest 20 per cent are forking out a quarter of their income and more on food and there is evidence that they are switching to cheaper brands, buying less and going without.

“It’s time for this Government to slap corrective windfall taxes on fat-cat corporations posting excess profits at our expense and to use the laws we have to rein prices in. Working people can’t continue to pay the price for this Government’s failure.”

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