In recent weeks the price of bread, milk and butter has increased by 10-30 cent. While this may not seem like much on the surface for a family who buy three loaves of bread, 10 liters of milk and one large tub of butter a week this will see an increase to their food bill of just under €100 according to Cathie Shiels, Workers’ Party Ballymun-Finglas.

“As we see this steady increase in our grocery bills we also have many other price hikes to contend with. Rent aside the increase in food, utility bills and transport costs come to about €2,000 alone. Add in the cost of rent, which is averaging nationally at €1,500 and in Dublin over €2,000 a month, it is going to be impossible for workers to afford to live.”

“We are already seeing a frankly shameful and unsettling increase in the number of people seeking help and support from food banks and charities to feed themselves and their families. If these price increases continue, how many more workers are going to be forced into poverty and reliance on charity?”

“We should also remember that a large number of workers have to pay for healthcare. When we consider the number of people who have to make the impossible decision of heating their homes or feeding their families, how many must make the distressing decision of paying to see the doctor or dentist when sick or in pain and subsequently forced to forgo food, heat or light as a result.”

“The only solution to the housing crisis is a universally accessible system of mixed-income public housing. In addition to this we require an all-Ireland NHS, free at the point of use, a livable wage, publicly owned energy with a plan for Ireland to approve nuclear energy and begin a sustainable plan for the implementation of nuclear power in the very near future. Anything less than this will result in more and more workers pushed to the limit financially as well as suffering the consequences in both their physical and mental health.”