Inflation hike leaves jobless worse off
BY ROBBIE MacGABHANN
For the first six months of this year, Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy ignored the reality of rising inflation. They argued that the rate would come down to an average figure of 3% for the year.
In July, our dynamic duo finally began to face reality and accepted that there will be an annualised figure of at least 5%. This would leave the hundred thousand-plus people signing on with a social welfare increase in real terms of 26p a week.
Now increases in interest rates announced by the European Central Bank last week and rising oil prices this week are likely to raise inflation further to over 6% and completely wipe out the value of social welfare increases announced in last December's budget.
The Partnership for Prosperity and Fairness commits the Dublin Government to ensuring that ``the real value of social welfare payments is maintained and where possible enhanced to ensure that all share in the fruits of economic growth''. We are now even further away from this commitment than ever before.
This week, Charlie McCreevy admitted he got it wrong on Hugh O'Flaherty. How long will it be before he and the coalition as a whole face up to their other failures?