The small dip in the level of inflation during July is welcome but it is likely to be only a temporary respite.
According to a statement received from Longford/Westmeath TD and Labour spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, the impact of last month’s decision by the European Central Bank is still to filter through.
In his statement Deputy Penrose went on to say that inflation remains a very significant problem with our rate running well above the EU average and well in advance of the level predicted by the Government in the budget.
“As with other mounting economic problems, we see no leadership on inflation, no ideas, no new initiatives. This Government now conveys the image of a rudderless ship, with nobody on the bridge.
“An average rate of inflation of 4.6 per cent since the beginning of the year means that those on social welfare payments, who received increases of around 6 per cent in the budget have seen little increase in their living standards, while many workers who accepted a 10 per cent increase over 27 months under the Towards 2016 agreement have seen their incomes fall in real terms.
“What is most dispiriting is that the Government seems to have given up the battle on inflation. Nothing has been done to deal with multiples which failed to be pass on to Irish consumers reductions in the price of imported goods arising from the increase in the value of the Euro, while the anti-inflation group, established under the Towards 2016 process, has delivered no results and seems to have now disappeared without trace.
“If we are to deal with the broader economic problems facing the country, we need to reverse the steep increase in the numbers on the live register and get a grip on inflation, bringing it down to at least the EU average,” he said.