Clare SVP President Warns Cost Of Living Increase Intensifying For Low To Middle Income Earners

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The Clare branch president of St Vincent De Paul has warned that the crisis is intensifying for low to middle income earners in this county who can’t supplement their income to offset the impact of the rising cost of living.

It comes as fuel and energy prices continue to put a strain on consumers and businesses, amid warnings the ‘volatile’ nature of the market will continue for some time.

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Consumers are facing growing uncertainty when it comes to the price of electricity, fuel and food, as inflation continues to soar.

There’s now increasing pressure on the Government to provide help to alleviate the situation for many households, after Electric Ireland became the latest energy company to raise their prices.

Opposition parties say the Government needs to further intervene to ease the cost of living with Sinn Féin calling for zero per cent VAT on fuel.

Economic forecasts have predicted that inflation will continue to lead to price hikes but Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath won’t commit to a mini-Budget to tackle the problems and says there are no plans to delay Carbon taxes.

While, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan says it would be a false promise to suggest the Government can cut all charges on fuel and that it’s easy for those not in Government to make promises.

The Clare Branch President of St Vincent De Paul fears the burden on households in a county like Clare is disproportionate to others, with many low to middle income earners being hit with a perfect storm of factors.

The charity has witnessed a 35% increase in requests for assitance over first two months of this year; 20% of those relate to energy cost and most the rest relates to food.

Denis Carty is concerned that a lot of people here are becoming more and more vulnerable but he says there may be options for people who can’t currently see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Ennis Chamber’s new President is warning that businesses in the county town aren’t a ‘bottomless pit’ when it comes to absorbing higher costs.

There are concerns that businesses in discretionary sectors may begin to struggle as consumer spending is cut back on following the rising cost of living.

Bank of Ireland’s Colin Ryan, who has been appointed Ennis Chamber President this week, says the developments are worrying.