By Dominic McGrath, PA
The Government will “soon” bring forward a package of measures to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, Leo Varadkar has said.
The Tánaiste told the Dáil that the Government accepts it has not done enough to support households facing financial pressure.
Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, whose party has accused the Government of being out of touch on the issue, told the Dáil there is “no doubt” people are facing a cost-of-living crisis.
Referring to the cost of rent and housing, as well as childcare costs, he said: “Putting food on the table and running your car has never been more expensive.
“Prices will continue to rise, with workers and families under pressure like never before.”
He added that the Government has “failed to come up with a comprehensive plan” to support people.
“The Irish people deserve a Government that understands the difficulties they are facing.”
He called for a €5 increase in core social welfare rates, as well as the cancellation of a planned increase in the carbon tax in May.
The Government trades in “soundbites” and “selective leaks”, he said.
Mr Varadkar responded that the Government “acknowledges that the cost of living is rising and is rising very, very fast”.
“People are feeling the squeeze,” he said.
“Everyone is feeling it in their pocket.”
He also said that those on the lowest incomes are being hardest hit.
“We acknowledge though that the action we have taken to help families on the cost of living is not enough.”
He promised “a package of measures to help families with the cost of living”, which he said is currently being worked on.
He added that the Cabinet economic committee will meet next week to examine options.
“We will make a decision on it, and we will make it soon, certainly in the next couple of weeks,” he said.