Substantial cost of living package must be announced in Tuesday’s Budget
- Tax cuts favouring top earners are not the answer to cost of living crisis
Speaking in advance of the Cost of Living protest today (Saturday 7th October), Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash urged Government to implement the range of cost of living measures in the Labour Alternative Budget An Ireland That Works For All.
Deputy Nash said:
“The gaps between the have lots and have nots is ever yawning under this coalition of convenience and the kinds of tax cuts we are likely to see next Tuesday that will favour the better off is not the answer.
“The cost of living crisis hasn’t gone away, yet this Government has utterly failed to properly target resources to help those who are feeling the worst impact of rising costs.
“Labour’s radical but realistic alternative could tackle housing head on with the introduction of a ringfenced emergency empty homes fund to tackle vacancy and dereliction.
“The introduction of a cut-price climate ticket would have a huge impact on transport costs and carbon savings for people, while simple but imaginative measures, like ending punitive motor tax charges for those who can’t pay the full annual fee up front, would help people throughout the coming months.
“Standards of living continue to drop while Government fails to do what’s needed to tackle the cost of living and the price rise crisis.
“Despite all the talk of labour shortages and wage increases, workers in almost every single sector of the Irish economy, bar two, have suffered real wage cuts over the past year.
“Workers on the National Minimum Wage are already struggling to make ends meet. According to the Living Wage Technical Group, these workers are now earning €3.50 per hour, or 24%, less than the amount that they need to live a decent standard of life.
“According to the OECD, since 2020, almost one fifth of renters are spending more than €4 out or every €10 of their disposable income in rent. Almost 13,000 people are living in homelessness and so many of our young people are unable to move out of the family home due to astronomical rents.
“We are now richer than we have ever been in our history, but government is failing to target those resources at those who need it most. For too many citizens, Ireland is falling short. Budget 2024 must pave the way for an Ireland that works for all.”