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‘Even my 10-year-old can see I’m not OK’ – 3 in 4 people say cost of living affecting mental health, Sinn Féin survey finds


Claire Kerrane. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Claire Kerrane. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Claire Kerrane. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

More than three in four (77pc) people say the rising cost of living is impacting negatively on their mental health, according to survey carried out by Sinn Féin.

The online survey of more than 14,000 people also found a massive 98.5pc of people believe the Government is not doing enough to address the spiralling cost of living.

The survey also found 76pc of people say they are very concerned about the cost of living while a further 19pc said they are quite concerned by it.

A respondent to the survey from Tipperary said she was “battling with high anxiety” because she does not know if she will be able to pay rent or electricity bills.

“I’m a single mother of a 10-year-old boy and on his Santa list he asked Santa to help his mam be OK. Even my 10-year-old can see I’m not OK anymore,” said the young woman, who gave her age as between 25 and 34.

Another respondent said the cost of fuel and electricity was “out of control”.

“Myself and my husband work. We pay a mortgage and by the time we put fuel in the cars to get us to work we barely have €100 for groceries for a family of four. Some weeks I have major anxiety, worrying that I can’t afford to feed my kids or afford fuel to heat the house,” the respondent said.

A respondent aged over 65 from Galway said: “As a pensioner, I can’t live on what’s left [each week]. I pay my electricity by card at An Post. I can’t afford groceries and eat the bare minimum. Life is very hard.”

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A woman aged between 18 and 24 years old said she is “afraid to have children” as the cost of living these days is so high.

“I’d have to take leave from work which I cannot afford. If I got ill during pregnancy and couldn’t continue to work, I would be in arrears. I don’t think I can continue to live in Ireland. I shouldn’t be afraid to have children in the 21st century,” she said.

Sinn Féin social protection spokesperson Claire Kerrane said the results of the survey “expose the stark reality” of the effect the cost of living is having on people.

“People’s incomes are staying the same, while costs are continuing to increase across fuel, rents, childcare, groceries, healthcare and energy bills, to name just a few,” the Roscommon-Galway TD said.

“This is putting huge financial pressure on people, as they struggle to keep on top of their bills every month,” she added.

Ms Kerrane said Sinn Féin would remove Vat from domestic energy bills for low and middle income households this winter if in Government. She also said the party would introduce a rent freeze and scrap carbon tax increases announced in the Budget.

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