The revelation that charities have seen a 24% increase in requests for help with gas and electricity is another indication of the increasing impact of inflation on the lives of citizens, according to the Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
The elected representative for the Roscommon-Galway constituency said: “Life under the recovery is being dominated by the threat and the consequences of inflation.
“The fine words about record employment levels mean little to working and low-income families who are being forced to choose between rent, food, and fuel.
“The realities for those who get up increasingly early to go to work are grim.
“Home heating oil is up by a third and electricity bills have increased on average by more than a quarter compared with before the pandemic.
“If such increases continue, spread out over the course of the year, households will this year pay for the equivalent of three months’ more energy use than in 2019.
“Home heating oil has increased by a third in eighteen months. Gas prices have risen 21% on average.
“People are now starting to ration when they heat their homes. Fuel inflation is the beast that won’t go away and its tentacles are spreading.
“The reality is that in March 2020 a litre of green diesel for a tractor cost between 41 cent and 42 cent per litre for the farming community, the contractors who do the work and indeed the builders around the country who work machines for building houses. Now it costs between 92 cent and 94 cent in bulk.
“For the people who drive to work every day, white diesel today costs €1.68 and petrol €1.78. These are people who, as the Tánaiste has said before, get up early in the morning and go to work.
“I fully agree with looking after the people who are on low incomes, such as those on the fuel allowance, and there has been much talk of that.
“However, what is this Government’s plan for the rest of us? What is the Government’s plan for the next three to six months for the farmer whose fertiliser has now gone from €350 or €400 depending on the type to €870 or €970, again dependent on type?
“What is going to happen the contractor who cuts the silage for the farmer with the Government putting in another carbon tax in May on green diesel?
“What is the plan for the general household who will probably be down €2,000 to €3,000?
“Alas, there doesn’t appear to be one,” Fitzmaurice concluded.
For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565