06 Oct 2022

Dundalk TD calls on government to "step up" and address cost of living

Dundalk TD calls on government to "step up" and address cost of living

Ruairí Ó Murchú TD

The government needs to “step up and help mitigate the pain” of the cost of living, according to Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú who told the Dáil last week that the €100 payment off electric bills next month “just won’t cut it.”

The Dundalk TD was speaking during a debate on the Electrical Cost Emergency Measures Bill on Thursday.

He said that while “everyone accepts there is an absolute crisis here in the cost of living'' and the “government does not have full control over it,” more needs to be done to ‘mitigate the pain’.

Deputy Ó Murchú said: 

“We are also hampered in this State because we are living with some of our primary sins in the cost of housing, rentals in particular, and childcare. 

“Until we address them, we will not be dealing with some of the vast issues we have with poverty and the pain that people are going through.

“We have some sort of solution here with the €100 and many people will be very glad to get it. 

“We have to allow that this will not cut it and that there may be a need for a further amount at a later stage. 

“This is about mitigating the pain that is out there. 

“This is no different from what happened during the Covid-19 pandemic period, which is about the State stepping up to the mark. 

“We have to give full facility to be able to deliver that.

“I accept that there are difficulties in targeting this and aiming it at those who need it. 

“That is an issue we need to deal with in the systems, including database systems, at later stages and times so that we will have those options open to us.”

The government, he said, should be looking at not adding to the carbon tax.

He said: 

“We need to look at home heating, fuel, excise and VAT and to really say that we cannot afford to add any increases in carbon tax.

“We need to have a conversation with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. 

“There needs to be a discretionary fund. 

“We are all reliant on community organisations such as the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Simon Community and Save Our Homeless Dundalk, where there are many people doing great work. 

“It is not, however, enough as the State needs to step up to the mark and it needs to offer whatever mitigations it can.”

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