Fianna Fail Leader on Dublin City Council Mary Fitzpatrick has highlighted the need for concerted action by the Irish Government and by Europe to tackle the falling living standards of middle-income families across Dublin.
Speaking at a public meeting on the cost of living crisis in Dublin city centre, the Dublin European election candidate outlined a series of pressures on household incomes including:
– Exorbitant childcare costs: Second highest childcare costs in the OECD.
– Soaring health insurance: Policies up 50% in three years
– Cuts to the drug refund scheme: Families losing up to €144 a year
– Motor tax and car insurance increases: Motor tax up €124 a year
– Hikes in electricity and gas prices: Electricity prices up 8% in 12 months along
– Rolling increases in student fees: Up €1,000 to €3,000 under this Government
– Property tax: Averaging €500 for family homes in Dublin
– Water charges: Households expected to pay bills averaging €350
– Higher VAT and excise duties: 2% VAT increase costs Dubliners an extra €300 in VAT
Cllr Fitzpatrick said, “Middle-income households right across Dublin are being hit with one blow after another in the form of stealth taxes, soaring household bills and day-to-day living expenses that are crippling their quality of life.
“The Government here and the European authorities both have a role to play in easing the burden on ordinary families across this city. Europe can support consumers by keeping interest rates low, easing up on national austerity and taking action to cut energy costs and ensuring competition in the banking sector.
“Europe can also support young job seekers and tackle the job crisis by significantly increasing the investment in the Youth Guarantee and investing Research & Development. We need strong voices in Europe to push for a reversal of cuts to the EU Budget, an easing up on national austerity and a deal on legacy bank issues, including retrospective recapitalization of the banks. We also need a major crackdown on EU waste to free up supports for ordinary families that are struggling with their day to day expenses,” said Cllr Fitzpatrick.
The guest speaker at the public meeting, Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath pointed out a number of steps that the Government can take to tackle the cost of living crisis.
“People who are facing relentless increases in their monthly bills need to be given a break. It’s up to the Government to take the lead on this. We are proposing that the capital budget be increased to invest in much needed infrastructure in Dublin. The Government cannot continue to preside over soaring costs in GP services, legal and professional services and health insurance,” said Deputy McGrath.