Tue, 28 Jun 2022

DUBLIN, Ireland: Cities throughout Ireland saw thousands of people marching on the weekend to protest the jump in the cost of living, after inflation rose to the highest levels since the 1980s.

Inflation was reported to have jumped 8.3 percent in May, higher than the EU average of 8.1 percent, according to Eurostat.

Observers note that inflation in Ireland is largely tied to the steep increase in fuel prices.

Also, natural gas prices are largely blamed for the increase in living costs following the coronavirus pandemic.

In Dublin, union members, pensioners, opposition parties and others gathered to protest the impact of the economy on the lives of Irish households.

Phil N Sheaghdha from the Irish Nurses' Union spoke of the impact of high prices on her members.

"It's very difficult to retain nurses and midwives, particularly in large urban centres, where the cost of rent is taking well over 50 percentof their wages," she said, as reported by Europnews.

"And then we have a huge issue with recruiting nurses from non-EU countries who come here. They look at their salary, they make big life decisions and then they realise they are paying more than 50 percent of that in rent (and) in transport."

The protests were organized by the Irish Cost of Living Coalition, which is seeking wage increases, rent control, and price controls on petrol and diesel.

Last week, Irish President Michael D. Higgins called the country's housing problems a "great, great failure," stating that it was "not a crisis, but a disaster" when speaking at the opening of a facility for homeless youth near Kildare.

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