Thursday, 22 September 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Leo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
I will be brief. We probably need to take a dual approach to this. There is an international inflation crisis that is driven by monetary policy, the war in Ukraine and high energy bills. We need to respond to that reality by helping people with their bills. We need to help put more money in their pockets and also help to reduce energy bills in particular. As a country, we had a high cost of living long before this current inflation crisis. There are areas in which the cost of living in Ireland is out of kilter not with Mediterranean countries or countries in eastern Europe which are very different to ours, but countries similar to ours in northern Europe, in childcare, healthcare, public transport and rents. This is an opportunity not just to deal with the immediate inflation crisis, but also to bring down some of those costs where we have been out of kilter with other northern European countries. I believe we should take that opportunity now.