Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on the Government to take urgent action on introducing a cost-of-living package to support families and workers.
This follows the British Government’s announcement of a £15 billion package earlier this afternoon, which will include a £650 one-off payment to low-income households and an energy bill discount of £400 this Autumn.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Kerrane said:
“I am calling on the Government to act immediately and introduce a cost-of-living package to support families and workers.
“That we are seeing the Tory Government in Britain introduce targeted measures before Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil speaks volumes.
“The Government has dragged its heels yet again, at a time when households need effective and targeted measures in response to the growing cost of living crisis.
“Sinn Féin have repeatedly put forward proposals on introducing measures which would support households that need it most at this time.
“We have proposed a direct Cost of Living cash payment, to put money back into people’s pockets now when they need it.
“An individual with an income of up to €30,000 would receive a Cost-of-Living cash payment of €200, and an individual on income of between €30,000 and €60,000 would receive a Cost-of-Living Cash Payment of €100.
“We have also repeatedly called for the introduction of a €15m Discretionary Fund, to support households facing utility debt especially for those who are locked out of supports like the Fuel Allowance.
“This is in addition to our proposals to cut childcare costs, freeze rents and address rising energy costs.
“These measures would ease the pressure facing families and workers, whilst ensuring those households that are most vulnerable to the soaring cost of living receive targeted supports.
“Rather than reiterating measures taken to date, including the social welfare package announced in the Budget eight months ago which is now irrelevant, especially given that these social welfare increases followed two years of no increases, the Government can and must do more. The Government have also consistently put a focus on the Fuel Allowance which the majority of workers do not receive and is not targeted at those in energy poverty.
“I am calling for urgent action now, to provide families and workers with the cost of living supports they desperately need.”