By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
The organisers of a cost-of-living protest planned for Dublin city later this month have urged people to take part in the demonstration.
The protest is being organised to put pressure on the Government to take further action against inflation before the next Budget in October.
The June 18th protest will start at Parnell Square at 1pm and move to outside Dail Eireann.
Speaking about the protest on Thursday, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the cost of living was “galloping ahead” of people’s incomes, and that Government measures have not been adequate enough to deal with “spiralling” costs.
“We think it is time to force the Government into urgent, comprehensive, radical measures that are going to address the cost-of-living crisis.”
He called on workers, students, pensioners, lone parents, people with disabilities and people on low incomes to join the protest “as a first step in what is going to be a sustained campaign of public pressure and protest demonstrations to force the Government to take the measures that are necessary”.
Betty Tyrrell-Collard, president of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, said there should be a greater discussion about raising people’s incomes if further Government action cannot be taken on inflation.
Beth O Reilly, vice president for campaigns at the Union of Students in Ireland, raised the high cost of third-level education fees and the lack of affordable accommodation for students.
She said: “Ultimately, students are already paying these two astronomically high costs, and they now have to contend with the rising cost of fuel, the rising cost of food, the rising cost of bills.”
Sinn Fein TD Claire Kerrane said the cost-of-living crisis was made worse by Ireland’s “starting point”, mentioning high rents, high childcare costs and high mortgage rates.
“Poverty is growing, and that should be raising alarm bells within Leinster House,” she said.
“People are really suffering.
“People cannot wait for the Budget. June 18th is the date, come out, stand up for people in your communities who are really, really suffering.”
The Cost of Living Coalition comprises various organisations and opposition parties, including Access for All Ireland, the Housing and Homeless Coalition, the Union of Students Ireland, Unite, and the Ireland Senior Citizens’ Parliament.