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Sinn Féin proposes 'cost of living' payment of €100 or €200 depending on salary

Under the new plan, an employee earning up to €30k would receive €200 while a worker earning between €30k to €60k would get €100
Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke

Philip Ryan and Hugh O'Connell

Sinn Féin is proposing a 'cost of living cash payment' which would see workers given €100 or €200 depending how much they earn.

Under the new plan, an employee earning up to €30,000 would receive €200 while a worker earning between €30,000 to €60,000 would get €100.

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the payment would be made on top of the Government’s proposed €100 energy credit if the party was in power.

In a statement, Mr Doherty said Sinn Féin had been warning the Government for months about the rising cost of living.

“Instead of taking decisive action, the Government have put their head in the sand and have allowed rents, childcare costs and energy costs to spiral out of control,” Mr Doherty said.

“They just don’t get it. They don’t understand the pressure that workers and families, who need action now, are under,” he added.

Mr Doherty said the €100 electricity credit for every household would be “better than nothing” but was “simply not enough”.

“A Sinn Féin government would make direct cost of living cash payments to support workers and families, in addition to making the already announced €100 electricity credit available,” he said.

“An individual on an income of up to €30,000 would receive a cost of living cash payment of €200, and an individual on income of between €30,000 to €60,000 would receive a cost of living cash payment of €100.

“This payment - along with our proposal to put a month’s rent back in people’s pockets and axe the carbon tax hike due in May - would give hard-pressed workers and families the break they so badly need,” he added.

Sinn Féin is also calling for a three-year cap on rents and proposing the introduction of a rent relief tax credit for renters worth €1,500.

Meanwhile Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday evening that a "substantial package" was being prepared by the Government to help everyone with the cost of living.

He told his colleagues there would be a universal element that would benefit all households and targeted elements for those most in need, which will be announced on Thursday.

Mr Varadkar also said that a big feature of the next budget in October should be reducing the cost of childcare after the party heard a presentation on issues facing families as well as childcare providers and workers.

The party was told that the symptoms of inflation were being treated by Government but Mr Varadkar added that a wider anti-inflation strategy is required.

He said Fine Gael had fought to ensure that people got to keep more of their pay in the budget and noted that this had been opposed by the Opposition at the time.

The party also heard a presentation from Foreign Affairs and Defence Minister Simon Coveney on the report of the Commission on the Defence Forces which recommended increased spending on Ireland's military.

Mr Coveney is reported to have told the party that demands for as much as half-a-billion euro in defence spending would be competing with other government budgetary priorities.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael party chairman Richard Bruton is said to have asked members to put their phones under their chairs at the start of the meeting to prevent leaks, but a source insisted that it was not a formal request or demand of TDs and senators as the meeting got underway.

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