'The worst is yet to come' in cost of living crisis, Doherty warns

Pearse Doherty says the war in Ukraine hasn't even been factored in to price rises
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.36 6 Apr 2022

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'The worst is yet to come' in...

'The worst is yet to come' in cost of living crisis, Doherty warns

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.36 6 Apr 2022

Share this article

Sinn Féin is calling for a suite of measures to cope with the cost of living crisis.

The party's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty says the situation will get worse later in the year.

He was speaking as exchequer figures show tax revenues so far this year stand at €17.2bn - up 30% on the same period last year.


Income tax receipts have increased by 16%, but the country was in a full lockdown during the first few months of 2021.

An overall surplus of €200m has been recorded - but a deficit is expected to be recorded by the end of the year.

Mr Doherty told The Hard Shoulder these figures mean the Government should do more.

"We've seen a far greater improvement than where we thought we'd be at the time of the budget last year.

"Actually the improvement has been in the size of over €6bn.

"Next year we will have not only balanced books, but we will actually have surpluses in our accounts.

"So that does call for to make sure that Government responds to the significant pressures that workers and families are under [sic].

"This is something that the Central Bank themselves actually identified in the report, where they said that it's appropriate for fiscal policy to reduce the impact of higher inflation on those households less able to cope".

Mini budget

He says a mini budget should be part of this.

"We believe that there's a suite of measures that need to be introduced now.

"Some of them that would be temporary, some of them more long-lasting.

"We had cost of living pressures before the war in Ukraine, before the pandemic - and they need to be dealt with.

"That's why we believe that a mini budget is the appropriate response at this point in time".

Some of these measures include targeted €200 fuel/energy payments for people with incomes under €30,000 - and €100 for those on €30,000 to €60,000.

"We're very conscious as well - and everybody who looks at these numbers know this - the worst is yet to come.

"So we're nowhere near where this is going to end up.

"Food prices are going to continue to increase, energy prices in the third quarter of this year are going to go up significantly.

"The war in Ukraine hasn't even been factored in to the rises that we've seen by energy providers in the first quarter."

'Can't do everything'

But Deputy Doherty says they know not everything can be fixed.

"I accept that the Government can't do everything, but they can do a lot more.

"The package we're putting forward is a modest package, it's €1.5bn, it's about taking the sharpest edge off these increases and being targeted".

Asked what happens if the situation does get worse, Deputy Doherty says these measures will take us to the next budget.

"This is the package we need to deal with between now and the budget.

"The budget will obviously reassess at any given time where people are at.

"But what we need is a mini budget at this point in time".

Replying to suggestions of a mini budget, Minister Donohoe told Newstalk a lot has already been done.

"We've already put in place nearly €2bn worth of measures... between Budget Day changes that we've made and two different packages that we've announced since the year begun.

"Sinn Féin are making the point that we should be doing more because we have a surplus today.

"As the year goes on we're going to be borrowing - we're going to finish the year having to borrow to fund the gap between what we are taxing and what we are spending.

"And we should not use borrowing to fund changes in taxation, as is being suggested by Sinn Féin.

Main image: Sinn Féin spokesperson on finance, Pearse Doherty, speaking to media at Leinster House in August 2020. Picture by: Leah Farrell/

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