Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that while Fine Gael brag about Ireland being the fastest growing economy in the EU, parents are going without food so that their children have enough.

Teachta Crowe said:

“The cost of living crisis shows no sign of ending. That is a fact. I do not know what bubble the government is living in.

“Most constituents who come to me say they are suffering at this stage. A report launched by Barnardos this month shows food poverty is worsening, with one in ten people surveyed forced to use food banks in 2022, while 29% reported skipping meals to ensure their children could eat. Those food banks are not only in Sinn Féin constituencies; they are right across the State.

“The Ministers should wake up to what is happening to people. People are going hungry under the Government but Ministers are living in a bubble and seem to think everything is fine.

“Average gas bills have gone up by 140% over the past two years, while the average electricity bill has increased by 115%. I do not know what world the Minister is living in but I am getting calls every day from constituents who do not know how they will pay their energy bills, which have gone up by €300 and €400 in the past couple of years. People have been crying out for help and no one is listening.

“Fine Gael was bragging on Twitter yesterday that Ireland has the fastest growing economy in the EU.

“Tell parents who cannot afford to feed their children or heat their homes that we have the fastest growing economy. People are starving in this country. What does that say about this Government? Tell that to parents who cannot afford to feed their children or heat their rooms.

“Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party are completely out of touch with the struggles facing ordinary workers and their families.

“The Government must commit to payment of a spring bonus for those relying on working-age social welfare payments, including pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and lone parents. They are the people who are impacted at the moment by all these large bills. The Minister needs to wake up and smell what is happening in our country.”