Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called on the Government to introduce an emergency budget with targeted measures to support low and middle-income households in response to the cost of living crisis.
This comes as Government party leaders meet today to discuss the rising cost of living.
Speaking today, the Donegal TD said:
“Today the three Government party leaders are meeting to discuss the cost of living crisis.
“I am urging them to use this opportunity to plan for an urgent emergency budget that supports workers and families. Right now they need action, not more talk.
“Last month the Finance Minister categorically ruled out measures to support households – that simply is not credible.
“The Dáil does not sit now for another two weeks. The government cannot afford to sit on their hands during this period.
“They need to be proactive and use that time to prioritise an emergency budget that helps to relieve some of the ever-worsening financial pressures on workers and families, and that sets out a roadmap for the state to navigate through this crisis.
“So many households face increased living costs that they simply cannot afford.
“Inflation this year is expected to reach 7.7 percent – with energy prices already having risen by 47 percent.
“Recent reports by the ESRI and Central Bank show there is fiscal headroom for the Government to introduce measures to support households.
“Sinn Féin has proposed targeted and sensible measures that would provide real relief for households.
“By removing excise duty from home heating oil and negotiating with the European Commission to reduce VAT on domestic energy bills.
“By introducing cost of living cash payments, extending the fuel allowance season by six weeks and increasing social welfare rates for the most vulnerable in response to inflation.
“And by reducing childcare costs and supporting renters through a refundable tax credit equivalent to one month’s rent and a ban on rent increases.
“Without taking action, the Government is allowing a reduction in the living standards of lower and middle-income households.
“The Government can and must do more. Now is the time to introduce an emergency budget.”