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Addressing wage demands will require tackling cost of living crisis – Adams

16 November, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, has said the government must take meaningful action to tackle the cost of living crisis, including introducing rent certainty, as a means of addressing wage demands across the public and private sector.

Teachta Adams said:

“The issue of pay for workers who have suffered the brunt of the government’s policies is now front and centre, and is not going away.

“I would urge the Taoiseach, again, to enter into dialogue to address the very real issues surrounding pay restoration, pay equality and the fair treatment of new entrants to the public sector. Whatever comes out of those negotiations is another matter, but refusing to engage is only making the problem worse.

“Does the Taoiseach ever ask himself why workers are seeking wage increases? Does he think they are being greedy or self-serving? Or maybe it’s because hundreds of thousands of citizens are in dire straits.

“There is a cost of living crisis crippling families in rents, mortgages, insurance, childcare costs, student fees and medical bills. People are justifiably seeking the restoration of wages so they can pay their bills. 

“That is not unreasonable, yet the government’s position is there will be no increase in pay despite the cost of living going through the ceiling. It is not tenable and ultimately it will lead to industrial action that will mean more school closures and A&E’s without doctors.

“Not only does the Taoiseach need to get around the table with the unions, he needs to deal with the cost of living crisis; chief amongst these issues is the issue of spiralling rents.    

“The average monthly rent is now almost €1,100. In Dublin, families are paying an average of €1,500.  That means low and middle income families renting a home are paying between 40% and 60% of their income on rent, yet the government and Fianna Fáil have consistently refused to tackle and stop these outrageous rent increases. 

“Rent certainty would put a brake on the unaffordable rent increases thousands of families and people are facing, and the government should commit to introducing rent certainty linked to the Consumer Price Index without delay.” 

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