– Cost of living increases cancelling out any uplift for households

Local Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has again said that more focus is needed on reducing the cost of living, as we are experiencing rising energy costs, stubbornly high motor insurance, high variable mortgage rates, rising rents and rising child care and health costs.

“Ireland’s competitiveness is under attack by rising costs. I have repeatedly raised the stubbornly high cost of motor insurance and high variable mortgage rates that Irish home owners experience.”

“The latest CSO figures show that rising energy costs are swallowing up last year’s tax cuts. Electricity prices for example have increased by €125 over the past 12 months.”

“Insurance costs in Ireland remain stubbornly high. The average annual cost of motor insurance now stands at €750 compared with €450 in 2014, an increase of nearly 70%.”

“An Irish borrower, with a 30 year mortgage of €250,000, is paying €1085 per month. This is around €188 per month, equivalent to €2,200 per year and €68,000 over the lifetime of the mortgage, more than they would be paying in the average Euro area country.”

“Householders are seeing their bank balances take a hit month on month, and any gains that were made in last year’s budget have been lost by rising costs. The rising costs results in a hit to discretionary expenditure causing lower spending in local shops and businesses.”

“For businesses, margins are being squeezed and the ability of businesses to expand and take on new employees is being severely hampered.”

“The Government cannot stand idly by as households feel the squeeze and businesses suffer from a lack of competitiveness.  Cost of living under every metric is increasing. Housing, childcare, insurance, transport and now energy costs are all going up – the Government must take action,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.