The cost-of-living crisis has overtaken housing as the biggest concern for people in advance of this month’s budget, a new survey has found.
About 35 per cent of people now believe combating inflation should be the main priority of the Government, according to Taxback.com’s pre-budget survey. That’s ahead of the housing crisis, which was the biggest issue for 32 per cent of respondents.
“This is the first time in many years that housing has not come out top” in this survey “as the issue which requires the most urgent and immediate Government attention”, Marian Ryan, consumer tax manager with Taxback.com, said in a statement. It “is a worrying signal of the extent to which people are struggling with day-to-day living costs”, she added.
The survey comes amid ongoing calls for the Government to do more to ease the cost-of-living issues for people in the budget, due in just over two weeks. Government forecasts indicate people face an effective trebling of their energy bills in the new year when compared with the middle of 2021, The Irish Times reported on Saturday.
Energia become the latest company to announce price increases last week, with the supplier saying it plans to raise the unit price of its electricity by 33.5 per cent and the unit price of its gas by 47.11 per cent from October 7th. Other suppliers including Electric Ireland, Bord Gáis Energy and SSE Airtricity have made similar moves.
Inflation and housing are by far the dominant issues heading into the budget, the survey shows. Between them, those were the top concerns for two-thirds of those who took part in the survey. Some 13 per cent of respondents cited cutting income tax as their main issue while 6 per cent cited healthcare as the number one item.
“While the cost of living has shot up the agenda, housing remains a very real problem in Ireland and our survey highlights that the Government needs urgently to ease the plight of all those people who are unable to buy their own home as this is still a key concern of the public,” Ms Ryan said.
“Unless the Government brings in powerful measures now to address it, we will see many young people leave this country in the coming years because they feel they have no prospect of ever owning their own home,” she added.