MIDDLE-INCOME families are being hit with one blow after another in the form of stealth taxes and soaring household bills, a councillor has claimed.
Mary Fitzpatrick has urged concerted action by the Government and Europe to tackle the "falling living standards" of middle-income families throughout Dublin.
The Dublin European elections candidate outlined a series of pressures on household incomes at a public meeting on what she called "the cost of living crisis".
She said that childcare costs are the second-highest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In addition, families have been hit with soaring health insurance costs, cuts to the drug refund scheme and motor tax and car insurance increases.
Electricity and gas price increases are also affecting hard-pressed families, according to Ms Fitzpatrick, who is the Fianna Fail leader on Dublin City Council.
Meanwhile, householders will face bills averaging €350 when the new water charges are introduced, she said
"Middle-income households right across Dublin are being hit with one blow after another in the form of stealth taxes, soaring household bills and day-to-day living expenses that are crippling their quality of life," she said.
"The Government here and the European authorities both have a role to play in easing the burden on ordinary families across this city.
"Europe can support consumers by keeping interest rates low, easing up on national austerity and taking action to cut energy costs and ensuring competition in the banking sector.
"We need strong voices in Europe to push for a reversal of cuts to the EU budget, an easing up on national austerity and a deal on legacy bank issues, including retrospective recapitalisation of the banks."