News & Media

Social welfare increases won’t even keep pace with expected inflation rate

12 October 2021

Statement by Seán Sherlock TD
Spokesperson on Social Protection, Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Community and Rural Development
  • As prices rise Budget 2022 will leave households worse off.
  • For example a minimum €7.50 increase is needed to jobseeker payments to insulate against 3.7% inflation.

Responding to the €5 increase to weekly payments, and other associated measures, Labour Social Protection spokesperson Seán Sherlock TD said the projected inflation rate of 3.7% means that the increases won’t even meet the projected rise in the cost of living next year never mind the failure to increase payments over the last two years.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“With the government projecting an inflation rate of 3.7% that means the mediocre increases provided to social welfare payments will be eaten up, and the rising costs for food, energy and other essential goods will reduce the value of payments further.

“This budget spreads around lots of fivers but it doesn’t insulate those on fixed incomes from rising prices. Jobseekers Benefit and allowance of €203 a week would have to rise by a minimum of €7.50 just to keep pace with the projected inflation rate. Instead there will only be a €5 rise.

“The Minister has secured a range of measures across supplementary payments which are all very welcome but at the end of the day if prices are rising faster than the income someone receives then they will have less to spend on everyday essentials. Since 2019 those on social welfare payments have seen no weekly increase while inflation in that period ran at 4.3% on top of the future increases that are now expected.

“We already know energy prices are soaring, and that electricity and gas suppliers have already implemented multiple price increases that will cost households over €400. This was a budget meant to tackle inflation, but it doesn’t even meet the projected rising cost of living.”