MORE families are turning to charities for financial help due to the cost-of-living crisis than has been claimed in any year since the financial crash.
It comes as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admitted some of the current household living support will end after February as he says Ireland does not have enough money to keep them all going.
Sinn Fein Chairwoman Mary Lou McDonald told the Dail on Wednesday that charities are receiving a record number of calls for help from families facing severe financial pressure from the cost-of-living crisis.
The Dublin TD said the post-Christmas period has meant parents have struggled to get food on the table for their children and thousands have been reaching out to charities such as St Vincent De Paul for help.
She said: “The cost of living crisis has not gone away. For many households, the situation is even worse.
“People continue to make tough decisions just to make it to the end of the week.
“The St Vincent De Paul has said it has received the most calls from families seeking help since the economic crash.
“In addition, the company supports students and young people at a record level.”
The Sinn Fein leader said people showed TDs and councilors their enormous energy bills when politicians knock on their doors while sky-high prices continue to cripple families.
Deputy McDonald warned that the European Central Bank’s plan to raise lending rates again next week will exacerbate the problem and put further pressure on thousands of homeowners with tracker mortgages.
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She called on the government to give reassurance to families about the future of the cost of living, which is due to end at the end of next month.
Last year, the government introduced €2.2 billion in living allowances, including €200 in energy credits, a moratorium on evictions and power cuts, and reduced taxes on gas, electricity, petrol and diesel.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said ministers would meet in the coming weeks to negotiate which of those measures could be extended but warned Ireland could not afford to keep all of them.
He said: “We will not be able to continue everything. We just don’t have the resources to do it, but there won’t be a cliff.
“What will happen over the next few weeks is that the relevant ministers will sit down with the Minister for Public Expenditure and the Minister for Finance and we will work out which measures we can go ahead with and which cannot.
“And we’re going to try to do that as quickly as we can over the next few weeks, so people will have reassurance well before the end of February.”
The Taoiseach said inflation has started to slow, but prices continue to rise, putting people under severe pressure.
He said people will feel the effects of a range of government measures that came into effect this month, including lower childcare costs, higher pensions and lower income taxes.
https://www.thesun.ie/money/10114571/major-cash-boosts-credit-leo-varadkar-shock-warning/ Significant cost of living update ramps up as Leo Varadkar issues warning in February