Government Cannot Keep Putting Essential And Urgent Cost Of Living Measures On Long Finger

Radical action on cost of living and rental crisis needed urgently 

Government action needed to prevent Covid winter crisis 

People Before Profit has said that the government cannot continue to put essential and urgent cost of living measures on the long finger. They said that measures have to be taken now to help people who are continually punished by the crisis of inflation, the cost of living and the rental crisis. 

The party has called for the government to implement price controls on energy companies to stop the continual increase in energy prices. They have also called for a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies; a wealth tax; and rent controls.

The party also said that wage increases and increases in pensions and social welfare payments need to keep pace with inflation at a minimum. 

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, the party representative on the Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee, said: “People in this country are looking for the government to take decisive and radical action to combat this extreme crisis. Energy bills, fuel, heating, rents, the price of food and inflation are punishing people brutally. People cannot take much more and yet all they hear from the government is to wait till the Autumn. The government cannot continue to put the urgent measures needed on the long finger. 

“People Before Profit would act decisively and call the energy companies in and tell them that price controls are going to be implemented and a windfall tax will be imposed on their profits. We would also bring in rent controls and bring rents back to affordable levels as we are facing an unprecedented situation of increasing homelessness over the next year unless radical action is taken. We would also ensure that pay, pension and social welfare increases keep pace with inflation at a minimum, otherwise, people are in effect taking a pay cut.”

Paul Murphy TD said that the government needed to take action now on increasing Covid 19 infections to prevent a winter crisis. 

He said: “The government has been sleepwalking into a Covid winter crisis. There are currently 849 people in hospital with Covid 19. This is a major issue for our health service which could get seriously worse if we do not act now. 

“The government must now take action on ventilation, an accelerated booster campaign, masks in public places and winter preparedness of the health service if we are to avoid a crisis in our hospitals and rampant infection in the community come winter.”

He also said: “The replacement scheme for the Special Leave with Pay scheme imposed on Friday is highly restrictive and will create financial insecurity and reduce incomes for many healthcare and other public sector workers suffering from Long Covid. The Special Leave Scheme with Pay must be fully restored immediately to remove this financial worry from workers as they try to recover from Covid.”