How can we curb the cost of living to help people feel a recovery?

How can we curb the cost of living to help people feel a recovery?

This day next week the country will go to the polls to elect a new Government.

For the last few months and most certainly in the seven days ahead, we’ll hear all sorts of promises most of which will involve allegedly putting money back in our pockets.

Everyone should be a little better off already based on the gains from last year’s Budget, with the level of USC reduced on wages since January and the minimum wage increased ever so slightly.

However, those slight gains are little good when the cost of living is going through the roof.

According to the Consumers’ Association of Ireland families are being devastated by rip-off rises in the cost of living that means, for a lot of people, there financial situation is set to be worse in 2016 than it was last year.

Amongst the rises include a 30% surge in car insurance over the past year, a 7% increase in home insurance premiums and a 2% increase on health insurance plans.

Those renting have also endured an average hike of 8%, putting a further dent in the hopes of saving for a mortgage deposit, while education costs, most notably at third level, have also increased.

Dermot Jewell of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland said that much of the population continues to struggle with rising costs which are “working against families.”

That means that talk of recovery by the Government is not really being felt at all in people’s pockets.

“The cost of living is rising, there is no question,” said Jewell.

“People are not necessarily better off at all. I hate to be miserable about it, but these are not good signs from January as to what will happen with the cost of living over the next six months.”

The figures show a widening chasm between home owners and private renters as the costs of private rents continued to climb. Private rents soared in the year, while mortgage interest costs have fallen 7.3%.

The huge housing costs chasm will likely widen further if new ECB measures widely expected next month were to keep mortgage costs here lower for longer.

Despite the entire hospitality industry being handed a special Vat cut in recent budgets, restaurant bills and hotel prices also continue to go up.

Mr Jewell said consumers believe that they are “being ripped off again”, with price hikes eroding any benefits people might receive in their pay packet.

So with the election on the horizon we ask you:

  • Have you seen your economic situation improved?
  • Are you struggling to pay basic bills?
  • Will the extra money in your pay packet or the hikes in bills effect how you vote next week?

Have your say below…

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Pingback: How can we curb the cost of living to help people feel a recovery? | Rosalie Rodney
  2. desmond at 7:16 pm

    money it seems to me is for the rich should start at bottom the electricity companies are making a fortune do some thing about how it run and managed to many people running the country and managers getting a fortune get rid of some of the small parties as they have not the power to legistate just talk a waist of time to many people running the country and the party that brought it down put them on small pensions and make them pay for the downfall then you might see things improving people paid for their problems yours desmond

  3. Peter Mooney at 2:20 pm

    I am very tired of recent Labour spouting about companies paying a “Living Wage” of over 11 Euro an hour to employees – Labour have been in power for 5 years and have done absolutely nothing to control the cost of living – why are we paying more for than we should for doctor’s bills, medicines, groceries, solicitors (despite bringing in a new bill recently which was spiked by vested interests), different insurance costs, rents, etc, etc, etc? Special VAT cuts were funded by literally robbing private pension funds to the tune of 2.39 Billion Euro, and yet as you point out prices are going up. Even as far as retail is concerned – yes, during the Tiger years you paid a lot in the shops, but you had a large choice of what to buy. Now, the shelves are empty as no-one keeps stock, but prices have gone back up.

    There is something very wrong about campaigning for a living wage when you are left wing but spent the last 5 years doing nothing about the cost of living, while having a gold-plated excuse to tackle some of it when the Troika were in town.

  4. Pedantic Panda at 2:00 pm

    Rents are going up because some of the people who are looking for a place to rent are able/willing to pay that and landlords are going to ask for as much as they can get (their costs have gone up too). The 30% surge in car insurance is said to be down to people not engaging with the PIAB and instead having their day in court in order to get more money. It is the mé-féin-ism, the greed hangover of our past and the lack of an idea of citizenship or civic-mindedness that’s driving all this as well as the litter in the street and many other issues. We, as a people, have little commitment to tackling issues like anti-social behaviour outside our doors, or people driving on mobile phones or any one of a thousand other problems that add up into a quagmire of apathy. We just see how much we can gain and go for that all with the feeling that we’re being the “cute huir” but all that does is denigrate the country. So anyway – economics – supply vs demand. If you feel rents are too high then don’t pay them – move somewhere else where rents are more reasonable. Eventually things will find a level – a balance – and we can all move on. Car insurance too much – get the bus, walk, cycle, hitch, move jobs. Easy decisions – no, certainly not but the cost of living only rises when people are willing to pay it! Can’t have it both ways! Rambling half-rant over

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