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Irish inflation hits 8.2%, above Eurozone average, as Sinn Féin proposes cash payment for workers

Inflation in the eurozone is at its highest level since recordkeeping for the euro began in 1997.

Image: PA

Updated May 31st 2022, 1:35 PM

CONSUMER PRICES IN Ireland an average of 8.2% higher this month compared to a year ago, according to an estimate by Eurostat. 

The EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) for Ireland is higher than the Eurozone average of 8.1%, with energy costs the primary driver of inflation. 

Six of the 19 Eurozone countries had a lower annual increase than the estimate of 8.2% for Ireland while 12 countries had higher rates.

The 8.1% annual inflation in the Eurozone soared past the previous record of 7.4% reached in March and April.

Energy prices jumped 39.2%, highlighting how the war and the accompanying global energy crunch are making life more expensive for the eurozone’s 343 million people.

Inflation in the eurozone is now at its highest level since recordkeeping for the euro began in 1997.

Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) will provide further details of inflation next week, following up on today’s figures from Eurostat. 

Speaking from Brussels, Taoiseach Micheál Martin warned today of a “new era” of higher fossil fuel prices. 

Cost of living concerns are set to be among the main issues raised in the Dáil this week, with Sinn Féin tonight tabling a motion to provide a payment to workers earning less than €60,000.

The bill being tabled by Claire Kerrane TD would provide €200 for every adult with an income less than €30,000 and €100 for every adult with an income between €30,000 and €60,000.

Speaking this morning, Kerrane said that previous social welfare increases introduced in last year’s budget were now “totally irrelevant”.

“We know that there are far too many people out there, workers and families, people on social welfare and people who are going to work everyday paying their taxes and they are struggling to make ends meet,”

They’re struggling to make basic necessities week to week. And we need to see targeted government action in relation to this. 

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Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One this afternoon, Paschal Donohoe said the government had already intervened a number of times to provide relief for people struggling with rising costs. 

Donohoe said that the amount provided by the Exchequer has been “equivalent to entire budgets that I’ve done in the past”. 

In a warning today, spending watchdog the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council urged the government to be aware that the inflation crisis could impact big ticket spending plans in areas like health and defence. 

Donohoe referenced this factor this afternoon, saying:  

“I do need to get the balance right that what I do now, doesn’t create further difficulties and challenges for us tomorrow which of course Sinn Féin doesn’t care about.”

- With reporting by PA

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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