A “substantial increase” in social benefits is needed

We need a “substantial increase” in social benefits, according to the Green Party’s spokesman for social protection.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, Marc Ó Cathasaigh said: “I think there needs to be a substantial increase in the base rate of social protection measures.

“We have seen a massive spike in inflation, which is driven by energy costs, which as people know is caused by the international conflict that we see in the illegal occupation of Ukraine” , did he declare.

“Last month we saw inflation hit a rate of 9.6% in this economy and we know that’s mostly reflected in things like energy and food costs.”

He said people on fixed incomes and social benefits do not have the capacity to absorb this level of rising costs.

There is also a need for targeted action to ensure that the government “tackles poverty where it is found”, Mr Ó Cathasaigh said.

He said single-parent families and people living alone are most at risk of poverty.

Mr Ó Cathasaigh also said Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy’s engagement with the Public Service Standards Commission will be important in maintaining public trust.

Yesterday Mr Troy, who is Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise, said he was reviewing his statements to SIPO.

“I think SIPO plays a hugely important role in making sure that standards are met in the civil service. I think that’s the right way to go for the minister to fix the file,” Mr Ó said. ‘Cathasaigh.

“I think it’s important to maintain public confidence.”

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