Fianna Fáil’s Deputy Finance Spokesperson, Frank O’Rourke, has stated that the Government has not done enough to stop the rising cost of living as Ireland’s reduced competitiveness is having a negative impact on the cost of doing business in Ireland.
“The cost of Insurance, rising childcare costs, rising rents, rising costs of fuel, gas, health insurance, and other day-to-day living expenses, are all putting pressure on families. For instance, electricity costs are going up by over 6%, and gas by over 12%. These increases will lead to an increase of nearly €150 for some customers.”
“Irish consumer prices in 2017 were 24% above the EU average. Irish Mortgage Rates are higher than the EU average. The average standard variable rate for a mortgage in Ireland is currently 3.26%. This is nearly 1.5% higher than the average Eurozone rate which stands at 1.83%” stated Deputy O’Rourke.
“In addition, it is clear from the latest National Competitiveness Council (NCC) report, the Irish economy is up against a series of major deficiencies in competitiveness. The report states ‘Ireland remains an expensive location in which to do business with a price profile which could be described as high cost and rising’. Every week, the cost of living and the cost of doing business is raised with me. Both inside and outside the Dail, I continue to try and get the Government to focus on reducing the cost of living by focusing on improving our competitiveness.”
“We are also developing a skills shortage particularly in the construction sector. There seems to be no plan by this Government to address any of these issues. At times, I wonder has the Government learned anything from the past. As I have said in the Dail, and at meetings in the constituency, the report states that if we do not address the cost of living issue we will return to ‘a vicious circle of increasing prices, reducing real incomes, increasing wage demands and reduced international cost competitiveness’. We run the risk of repeating the mistakes of the past and I am calling on the Government to get off the fence and address these issues rather than simply surf the wave of economic growth. People are best served when their Government ensures that it keeps a focus on the cost of living expenses,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.