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Brian Lawless/PA Wire
budget 2024

Protesters march through Dublin city centre over cost of living ahead of Budget Day

The Cost of Living Coalition is calling for increases in several payments, a rent freeze, and for the eviction ban to be reintroduced.

PROTESTERS HAVE MARCHED through Dublin city centre to call for measures to be introduced to help grapple with the spiralling cost-of-living crisis.

The pre-Budget protest, organised by the Cost of Living Coalition, marched from Parnell Square to Leinster House, where speakers addressed the crowd.

The coalition is made up of various representative groups such as the Union of Students in Ireland, the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, Inclusion Ireland and Extinction Rebellion.

It includes opposition parties People Before Profit and Sinn Féin, as well as some independent TDs.

The group is calling for a range of measures in Budget 2024, including a €25 increase in pension, social welfare and disability payments.

It is also calling for a rent freeze, the eviction ban to be reintroduced, an increase in Child Benefit to match inflation, and the abolition of student fees.

There is a general opposition among the protesters to the government’s reliance on one-off budgetary measures, which last year included lump sum welfare payments and three €200 electricity credits.

Ahead of the protest, chief executive of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament Sue Shaw said that pension increases “need to match inflation and that older people need to have security and comfort knowing the state pension will be indexed linked as the government promised”.

The Union of Students in Ireland’s Vice-President for Campaigns Zaid Albarghouthi said the organisation was calling for student contribution fee to be abolished, the eviction ban to be reinstated and a rent freeze to be implemented.

The government announced a second package of one-off measures worth €1.3 billion in February, which was more targeted than the €4.1 billion cost-of-living package accompanying Budget 2023 last year.

Budget 2024 is to be announced on Tuesday, worth €6.4 billion, with the details expected to be finalised by ministers and party leaders this weekend.

Recent figures show that inflation in Ireland has not fallen to the levels forecast at the start of the year.

The Consumer Price Index rose by 6.3% in the 12 months to August this year, up from 5.8% in the 12 months to July.

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