Unions to meet with Government over rising cost of living

This year no public servant will get pay increase above 1.5 per cent, but inflation's predicted to be 6 or 7 per cent.
Unions to meet with Government over rising cost of living

Kenneth Fox

The Government is planning to meet with unions soon over the public sector pay deal.

It comes after unions triggered a review due to the rising cost of living.

This year no public servant will get pay increase above 1.5 per cent, but inflation's predicted to be 6 or 7 per cent.

Speaking to Newstalk, chair of ICTU's Public Services Committee, Kevin Callinan says a review's badly needed:

"Three weeks ago the public services committee invoked a review clause of the current public service pay agreement because quite simply the pay terms are not now anywhere near the rate of inflation."

He said their member's living standards are being reduced in a very serious fashion.

It comes as Social Justice Ireland says welfare rates need to be increased to help tackle the rising cost of living.

Many energy providers have pushed up their prices in recent weeks, some by as much as 39 per cent.

Opposition parties have repeatedly called for a mini-budget with more supports, in addition to cost of living measures already announced.

Suzanne Rodgers, research and policy analyst for Social Justice Ireland told Newstalk that targeted measures are badly needed: "We spent all of last year and the year before reading headlines about pent-up savings and households that have not been able to go on their three holidays a year."

She said there are households who can absorb the rising cost, for those who cannot she said there needs to be a set of targeted supports.

One of the measures she suggested is for social welfare to be increased for those households who are feeling the pinch of the rising cost of living.

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