"Cost of living crisis" is a huge issue for voters in this election - Cllr Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire
Sinn Fein General Election candidate for Cork South Central Cllr Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has stated that "a cost of living crisis" is a huge issue for voters in this election.
Councillor Ó Laoghaire said that people want to see a recovery that will make a real difference, not only in their pockets, but also in their wider lives.
"When I ask people on the doors to tell me their main problems, the dominant theme that emerges is the sheer struggle in trying to make ends meet at the end of the week. There is a serious cost of living crisis affecting low and middle income earners. Most ordinary people in Cork South Central don't believe that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil or Labour Party have a grasp of the scale of the difficulties that they face on a daily basis.
"There is a rent crisis out there. The price of rent is now rising faster in Cork than in Dublin or anywhere else in the country. The average rent is now €978 a month, which represents a staggering rise of 15.4% on this time last year. Whether they are in Douglas, Carrigaline, Mahon or Wilton, the rent crisis is having big impact on people's incomes."
"The two-tier nature of the health service is forcing many ordinary works into spending huge amounts of money on private health insurance. Many have expressed that they have policies that they can barely afford but the uncertainty, brought on by the chaos in our hospitals, means that they see the insurance as a necessity.
"The exorbitant cost of childcare is a major contributing factor to the sense of struggle and pressure people are feeling. It is a huge drag on their income and their quality of life. While costs in Cork vary, many families are paying in excess of €1,000 per month. Families are making huge sacrifices to afford childcare.
"These outlays, on top of meeting the usual utility and grocery bills and additional stealth taxes, means that people in Cork are fighting a weekly battle to get by, put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. There is a housing crisis, a hospital crisis, and there is certainly a cost of living crisis. It is a crisis that needs more attention.
"Sinn Féin wants to deliver a fair recovery that people will really feel. We will get rid of water charges, the local property and take 277,000 workers out of the USC bracket. We will tackle the housing and rent crisis in Cork by linking rent controls to the consumer price index. We will build 36,500 social and affordable homes over one term in government.
"We have a clear plan to deliver a health service that is free at the point of access, to scrap prescription charges and to extend medical card provision. Sinn Féin is proposing to set the maximum fees of childcare costs of €180 per week incrementally, reducing to €150 per week. This will mean a saving of €300-500 a month, providing much needed relief for families in Cork.
"Sinn Féin is the party that recognises the scale of the cost of living crisis in Cork and we are the party with the policies to addresses it."