Spiralling Cost of Living Hammering Families, Whilst Government Sits on their Hands
Speaking in the Dáil this morning, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín hit out at the
government’s lack of action in response to the cost of living crisis currently hammering families and
businesses across the countries.
An Teachta Tóibín: “We haven't actually discussed the cost of living here today- what we've
actually been discussing is the cost of existing. There are many people in this State who can barely
afford to exist, yet alone afford to live life to the fullest. Numbeo, the biggest internet database about
cost of living, ranks Ireland as the 6th most expensive country in Europe in which to live. On the cost
of rent we are ranked as the third most expensive, with only Switzerland and Luxembourg ranking
more expensive than us. A more frequently updated website, Expatistan ranks Dublin as the fourth
most expensive City in terms of price in Europe, with only three Swiss cities ranking more
expensive. There were 31 separate prices hikes from energy suppliers in 2021 alone, whilst the cost
of fertiliser tripled in 12 months. Home Energy costs have increased by more the 50%. In November,
inflation in Ireland hit a 20 year high.”
“There is no doubt that there are international factors but there are also many home-grown factors.
The Government's response to Covid hammered supply chains in the country. Ireland is the only
country in the whole of Europe to shut down the building of houses for the 1 st quarter of 2021. The
country with the worst housing crisis in the whole of Europe was the only country to shut down the
building of homes. And its not just the government who are at fault, Aontú is the only opposition
party that has ever challenged the government on this.
Prices accelerated for transportation due to higher prices for diesel, petrol, cars. The Government
itself pushed up the price of these fuels with the Carbon Tax. The carbon tax policy is a blunt tool.
The government sets the carbon tax years in advance without any understanding of the economic
circumstances that will pertain in that year. The tax is supposedly to achieve a price that will move
people away from the carbon fuel. But what if the market has already achieved that price, then the
carbon tax is purely punitive in nature. There should be a price ceiling to protect families after which
carbon tax is not imposed. The government could lower vat on fuel at this time if it wished. I asked
the Taoiseach yesterday has he asked the EU can Ireland have a derogation in the cost of fuel. The
Taoiseach indicated that neither he nor his government had asked the EU for a VAT derogation for
Ireland in this time of energy crisis. Has the Minister discussed the issue of Interest rates in the EU.
No. The one thing that’s not suffering from the cold this winter is the hands if the government.
Because they are sitting on them in this crisis.”
“You could reasonably ask how would the government of the National Children's Hospital to the
National Broadband Plan, the ventilators from China, the overpaying to Larry Goodman for the lease
of the building on Baggot Street really have an interested in inflation.