Families 'with the name of being well-off' are also struggling, TD says

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty said more targeted cost of living measures are needed this Spring
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.12 14 Feb 2023

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Families 'with the name of bei...

Families 'with the name of being well-off' are also struggling, TD says

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.12 14 Feb 2023

Share this article

All families are struggling with the cost-of-living, including those 'that might have the name of being well-off', according to a former Government minister.

Fine Gael TD Richard Bruton was speaking as Sinn Féin has called for more targeted cost-of-living measures this Spring.

On Newstalk Breakfast, Sinn Féin spokesman Pearse Doherty said the Government did not do enough in last year’s budget.


"The Government did increase social welfare, but not up to the levels that would protect the most vulnerable from the impacts of inflation," he said.

"Therefore, as part of the cost of living measures that the Government needs to introduce now, we believe that there has to be a number of targeted measure at those who are most in need.

"We [were] all shocked to see the Barnardos report and the glaring statistics laid bare there.

"There is a need to respond and we believe that a Spring bonus, which would be similar to the Christmas bonus - paid to carers, pensioners, those on social welfare - should be paid."

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty outside Leinster House Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty outside Leinster House, 09-09-2020. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Deputy Bruton said every family is feeling the effects.

"The reality is that, in this sort of crisis, families that might have the name of being well-off are coming under fierce pressure," he said.

"You have to respond to those with both the energy credits and these different, selected measures.

"They can't all be made permanent, as I think Pearse and I agree."

Mortgage interest relief

Deputy Doherty said there needs to be another suite of measures as things have changed since Christmas.

"The motion that we're bringing before the Dáil is looking at just four measures, but there has to be a suite of measures as part of the overall package," he said.

"We last week raised the issue in terms of mortgage interest relief, and how that's bearing down on families.

"Some families [are] paying €4,000 and €5,000 more interest now on their mortgages than they were compared to last year.

"That puts all pressure on families because, if you have to pay those bills, then there's less for putting food on the table; there's less for keeping your home warm".

'Capacity to respond'

Deputy Bruton said the Government has to have the flexibility to respond.

"These measures are very targeted at the areas of pressure that people are on," he said.

"The Government has committed that they will look again at these sort of pressures that people are coming under.

"Pearse wants to put up, permanently, the level of public expenditure across a range [of areas] and reduce the flexibility that the Government has to respond to the changing environment.

"Let's be clear: it's a very uncertain environment out there, both economically and with the war.

"We have to have that capacity to respond flexibly.

"So, I believe that the way the Government have approached this is correct; it is reaching the pressure points.

"It's the approach that should be taken in the Spring now as we again seek to respond to these pressures," he added.

Listen back to the full segments below:

Main image: Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Chairperson Deputy Richard Bruton taking part in a media doorstep in June 2021. Picture by: Leah Farrell /

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Barnardos Budget Christmas Bonus Cost Of Living Cost Of Living Measures Newstalk Breakfast Pearse Doherty Richard Bruton Spring Spring Bonus

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