SINN Féin TD for Limerick Maurice Quinlivan, has demanded that the Government act now to tackle the cost of living crisis.
Deputy Quinlivan’s comments came as Sinn Féin published the results of the party’s cost of living survey this week, which, he says, exposes the major financial pressures workers and families are under due to rising costs.
“There isn’t a day that passes that someone doesn’t contact my office in distress as they can’t pay their bills. Many of them we refer to St Vincent de Paul for help,” he revealed.
More than 14,000 people took part in the survey, including hundreds of people in Limerick.
Deputy Quinlivan continued: “The Government must act now to tackle the cost of living crisis. The cost of living is out of control. This is a real crisis and there needs to be clear action from government now.
“More than 14,000 people took part in Sinn Féin’s survey about the cost of living crisis. The results are shocking and expose the stark reality of how urgent this crisis is and the pressure that workers and families are under due to spiralling costs.
“People’s incomes are staying the same, while costs are continuing to increase across fuel, rents, childcare, groceries, healthcare and energy bills, to name just a few.
“This is putting huge financial pressure on people, as they struggle to keep on top of their bills every month. The stories are shocking and expose the reality and extent of this crisis here in Limerick and across the state.”
The survey revealed that 76 per cent of peopleare very concerned about the cost of living. A further 19 per cent said they are quite concerned by it.
Some 77 per cent said that the cost of living crisis has had a negative impact on their mental health.
A massive 98.5 per cent of people surveyed said that they believe the government is not doing enough to tackle the cost of living crisis.
“Pensioners spoke of being afraid to open their energy bills, as they knew they wouldn’t be able to pay them. Workers spoke of being forced to choose between buying food or filling up a tank of petrol.
“Young families spoke of the crippling anxiety of paying childcare fees, which often cost as much as a second mortgage or rent each and every month. One young woman spoke about her desire to start a family and how she fears she simply won’t be able to afford to have a child,” explained Deputy Quinlivan.
“Sinn Féin are publishing proposals to tackle the cost of living crisis. The government must act. One key step to ease these financial pressures this winter is for the government to remove VAT from domestic energy bills.”
He concluded: “Energy prices have risen by 25 percent, while the cost of home heating oil has soared by a staggering 71 percent. The government increase in Carbon tax is pushing bills up further, putting more families under real pressure.This government is ignoring how much pressure households are under this winter.
“The first step they can take is to remove VAT from domestic energy bills for low and middle income households this winter. Secondly, the Government must cut rents and then freeze them. Thirdly, they must scrap carbon tax hikes.”