Cork people just ‘working to live’ as cost of goods keeps rising

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has seen petrol prices shoot up, with the cost of petrol and diesel both rising above €2 a litre at a number of Cork petrol stations
Cork people just ‘working to live’ as cost of goods keeps rising

Support for Ukraine on an advertising board, at Blackpool Shopping Centre. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

FUEL, food, cosmetics, and clothes have all increased in price in recent months, local Cork shoppers say, as inflation and supply chain issues cause a spike in the cost of getting goods from A to B.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has seen petrol prices shoot up, with the cost of petrol and diesel both rising above €2 a litre at a number of Cork petrol stations.

Sarah Power-Morrissey from Redemption Road told The Echo she was starting to get concerned about the cost of fuel.

“The cost of petrol is concerning. I used to fill it up every two weeks but now the red light is on before two weeks are up and it’s looking like it’s going to get worse,” she said. “All the problems are not going away and it is hard for working-class families. You are literally working to live.”

 Kallum (spelling of Kallum OK) and Sarah Power Morrissey, Redemption Road at Blackpool Shopping Centre, Blackpool, Cork.
Kallum (spelling of Kallum OK) and Sarah Power Morrissey, Redemption Road at Blackpool Shopping Centre, Blackpool, Cork.

Lilibeth Horne from Blarney also said the fuel prices were a cause for concern.

“The increase in fuel didn’t worry me until Ukraine,” Ms Horne said. 

“If this continues it’s just going to be a disaster for us all. I know it’s a war and I appreciate that and my heart goes out to the Ukrainians, but I can see that we are caught through fuel prices.

 Lilibeth Horne, Blarney, at Blackpool Shopping Centre, Blackpool, Cork.
Lilibeth Horne, Blarney, at Blackpool Shopping Centre, Blackpool, Cork.

“My car would fill for about €75, now it’s about €90 and I was looking at the price of fuel again today and it has gone up again.”

Eleanor Morey from Farranree said her heating oil bill had jumped over 33% in a month.

 Eleanor Morey, Farranree, at Blackpool Shopping Centre, Blackpool, Cork.
Eleanor Morey, Farranree, at Blackpool Shopping Centre, Blackpool, Cork.

“I got oil in February and it was €480 for 500lt and now it’s €760. I will be turning the heating down and it is very cold,” she said. 

“My husband and I, we are only on two old-age pensions.”

Rita and Victor Aston, from Glasheen, said the cost of their weekly shop had risen significantly since Christmas.

“The weekly shop has gone up about 10% since Christmas,” they said. “We still buy everything we want to buy, but we reduce the quantity.”

 Victor and Rita Aston, Glasheen, Blackpool, Cork.
Victor and Rita Aston, Glasheen, Blackpool, Cork.

They said they are expecting the war in Ukraine to lead to further price hikes.

“Since the war, fuel prices have gone up and that will drive up the price of everything else. We are expecting things to rise a good bit more,” they said.

Government plan

The Government is expected to agree a plan to cut fuel costs by a reduction in excise duties.

The Cabinet is set to meet this morning to discuss and likely sign off on the plan, the PA news agency understands.

It comes amid concerns that the escalating cost-of-living in the Republic of Ireland may be worsened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yesterday, the Government was challenged to tackle spiralling price rises.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said people cannot wait for a financial package from the Government as they are struggling to fill their cars and heat their homes.

In response, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government was actively considering how it can help those struggling with energy costs.

During leaders’ questions in the Dáil, Mrs McDonald said: “The price of energy and fuel has soared over the last year and prices have risen even more rapidly following the criminal Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in an unprecedented interruption in the global energy market.

“The cost of petrol at the pumps has gone up by 70 cents (58p) a litre since January of last year and we are now at a point where many people can no longer afford to put fuel in their car to get to work.

“In that same timescale, the price of home heating oil has doubled and households are now being charged more than 700 euros (£580) for a half-fill of oil.

“Families now struggle to keep their homes warm. I know that many people are layering up with clothes, some are just heating one room or not heating their home at all.

“These fuel cost hikes are not sustainable for any worker or any family or small businesses. People are already hammered by extortionate rents, unaffordable house prices and ever rising costs of insurance and childcare.

“It seems you are not ready to take action this week to reduce the cost of fuel.”

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