Budget watch: What the people of Cork want to see in Budget 2023

The Echo took to the streets of Cork ahead of Budget 2023 to ask people what they want to see announced on Tuesday to help them through the current cost of living crisis.
Budget watch: What the people of Cork want to see in Budget 2023

The Echo took to the streets of Cork ahead of Budget 2023 to ask people what they want to see announced on Tuesday to help them through the current cost of living crisis.

Caoimhe Kinsley

“I live in Youghal and I have to commute up and down to Cork every day so it’s a bit of a pain. Even if there was more support for transport. I don’t get anything.

UCC student Caoimhe Kinsley. Pic: Larry Cummins
UCC student Caoimhe Kinsley. Pic: Larry Cummins

“I don’t get the SUSI grant and that was a big issue because it’s very difficult, you find yourself scraping by.

“At the moment, I’m staying in Glanmire because I’m on placement now next week in school in Blarney so from Youghal to Blarney is a bit of a trek so I’m now going from Glanmire to Blarney but it’s still an additional cost.”

Mark Walsh

“The electricity is going up a lot. Me and a few buddies moved out recently and everything has been manageable except for the electricity.

“We unplug everything, we turn everything off, but electricity still seems to be our highest bill by a massive margin.

Mark Walsh. Pic: Larry Cummins
Mark Walsh. Pic: Larry Cummins

“We went away for a week or two and even then, it was higher than the month before. It’s constantly going up. We’ve gone over our fixed rate already.

Everything else is bearable but with electricity, we have to properly budget for it.”

Cian O’Sullivan 

 “With regards to what I want to see in the Budget, I would like to see some sort of relief for students living out of home.

“I lived out of home one year for college last year when I moved out but the rent - I just don’t know how you can afford that doing college.

“A weekend job is not going to pay for that realistically either. So, if there could be some sort of relief in the form of a grant in the coming Budget that would be great.

Student Cian O'Sullivan. Pic: Larry Cummins
Student Cian O'Sullivan. Pic: Larry Cummins

“To qualify for the SUSI grant, your parents need to be earning less money so it’s very hard because if you’re slightly above that threshold you can’t afford to live out of the home, especially on College Road where people are paying €600 or €700 a month.”

Grace Fitzmaurice 

 “As a Kerry woman, I have accommodation here in Cork and the price when looking for anything is gone through the roof and I’m driving as well so the price of petrol has gone crazy as well.

“Also with books. We’re being told to buy these books and then €24 for the likes of a German book that we’re not using at all is a lot, it’s just for homework.

Grace Fitzmaurice from Abbeydorney, Co Kerry. Pic: Larry Cummins
Grace Fitzmaurice from Abbeydorney, Co Kerry. Pic: Larry Cummins

“The cost of living is the main thing and the cost of housing and the scarcity of housing in Cork at the moment is insane, so I do find that the cost of housing has gone through the roof.” 

 Anne Corrigan 

 “We need support to get the prices down on the gas and the electricity and maybe a couple of bob more on the pension.

“I am more conscious of switching off lights but I think myself they’re on about all this and frightening people and I know it has to be said but I think they are going overboard and I think it’s something we have to deal with as it comes but we’re hoping that it will be easier than they say.

Anne Corrigan. Pic: Larry Cummins
Anne Corrigan. Pic: Larry Cummins

“It's the older people I worry about really because they’ll be terrified to put on the heating, and they can’t even see a doctor because things are gone so bad. You need an appointment for everything.”

Marian Maguire 

 “I’m not listening to the news anymore because it’s frightening people. We still have to pay it and we still have to come around it but they should give us a good budget.

“We have to mind ourselves and keep an eye on our old people more than we ever did before.

“The kettle is not on as often, but I was doing my washing wrong all along for the last 35 years because I was putting a full load and now we’re being told that two halves are better.

Marian Maguire Pic: Larry Cummins
Marian Maguire Pic: Larry Cummins

“I would be self-conscious about the rising costs but we're lucky we’re young and we didn't have to put on the heating yet but there are older people who need heat and I feel sorry for people like that.”

Martha Downing

 “I would hope that the cost of living would go down because it has increased in the last couple of months. It has crept in and everyone is feeling it. I think everyone is the same. Especially when it comes to electricity.

“Household and everyday items like bread and butter have also crept up in price in the last couple of months. We have all noticed.

Martha Downing. Pic: Larry Cummins
Martha Downing. Pic: Larry Cummins

“We’re not going out as much now either because we had lockdown and we learned how to live indoors so we realised how expensive it is to go out."

Carol James

 “I live in Maine. I emigrated in 1994. Main is beautiful but everyone is wanting to buy houses so it has been crazy since Covid you can’t buy a house because of the prices.

“I come back to Ireland every year. I have seen a jump in the cost of things but it’s crazier over since Covid. Housing, food, everything.

 (l to r) Carol James, Phyllis Murphy, Eileen Reen, Helena Murphy, Megen Winters with her son Jordi, Maria O'Connor and Betty Murphy shopping together in Cork City. Carol, Phyllis, Eileen, Maria and Betty are sisters from Farranree, Cork City. Budget talk on the streets of Cork- VOX Pop with reporter Breda Graham/The Echo. Pic: Larry Cummins.
(l to r) Carol James, Phyllis Murphy, Eileen Reen, Helena Murphy, Megen Winters with her son Jordi, Maria O'Connor and Betty Murphy shopping together in Cork City. Carol, Phyllis, Eileen, Maria and Betty are sisters from Farranree, Cork City. Budget talk on the streets of Cork- VOX Pop with reporter Breda Graham/The Echo. Pic: Larry Cummins.

“Things are still cheaper here. I have found that all along. The likes of Lidl and Aldi, we don’t have that back in the States. We pay $2 for a tomato and $1.50 for an apple depending on the apple.”

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