The Freight Transport Association FTA Ireland says the latest consumer price index figures show the disconnect between Government policy on prices and wage levels.
The Central Statistics Office has just released data for 2015 that shows average inflation down 0.3% and a falling cost of living, yet Government-driven costs for transport, housing and education have all risen. Prices in competitively-traded sectors generally fell.
FTA Ireland General manager Neil McDonnell said: “What stands out starkly from the figures is that we’re in a deflationary environment, yet the Government continues to inflict cost-of-living increases on workers through taxes and charges, or indirectly through policy.
“The Government’s reaction to non-existent inflation is to increase wage costs via the national minimum wage, and there is talk of an even higher ‘living wage.’ This does not bode well for the unemployed. We hope that the message will start to sink in with the next Government that increasing wages across the whole economy to accommodate rising Government-driven costs is not a sustainable policy. It is nonsense.”
Key figures from the annual report show:
The costs of primary, secondary and tertiary education all rose by a total of 3.8%
The cost of housing increased by 2.1%, mostly due to water charges and rent increases
The cost of communications (telephone and postal costs) rose by 1.7%
Miscellaneous services increased by 2.6%, mostly driven by increases in motor insurance.
Full details of the 2015 Consumer Price Index can be found here: