Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has said that many low income families have felt little or no recovery in their own personal economic circumstances as the latest CSO Consumer Price Index shows that low income families are still struggling to afford essential goods and services.

“While prices on average, as measured by the CPI, were 0.1% lower in November compared with November 2015, a more detailed analysis shows that the cost of several essential items rose considerably in the same period.”

“Essentials such as house and car insurance rose by 7.6% and 11.6 respectively. In addition the CPI also revealed that local authority rents rose on average by 3.9%, while secondary education costs rose by 2.7% and with rail travel costs rising by a further 2.1%.”

“None of these items, by any stretch of the imagination, would be deemed as luxuries. For families, up and down the country, they are essential goods and services,” said the Limerick City TD.

“The modest gains, which Fianna Fáil fought hard for, will be swallowed up by these increases in everyday, basic items. For thousands of low-income families, 2017 will be yet another year where they struggle to balance the books.”

“Ireland has some quite staggering poverty and deprivation statistics. 59% of lone parent households are currently experiencing deprivation while 8% of the population is living in consistent poverty.”

“The Government must step up and do more. Many low income families have not felt or experienced any sort economic recovery; they are living hand to mouth on a weekly basis and are faced with ever increasing costs for essential goods and services.”

“Unless there is a concerted effort from this Government to address poverty and social exclusion a large cohort of people will be spectators rather than participants in our society,” concluded O’Dea.