FERMANAGH householders will find little relief from measures announced by the government to tackle the cost of living crisis, local experts have warned.
With the cost of everything continuing to spiral, and inflation also soaring, last week Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced some measures to help mitigate the impact in his Spring Statement, which was essentially a mini-budget. These measures included a raising of the threshold of National Insurance and a 5p cut in fuel duty for the coming year.
However, those who work with people struggling to pay the bills have warned a combination of low wages in Fermanagh and the county’s rural make-up mean the mitigation measures will be barely felt here.
Kevin Lawrenson, a former money debt advisor who has helped thousands of local people manage their budgets, said the current crisis needed to be given higher priority by the powers-that-be, and the Chancellor’s mitigating measures would barely scrape the surface of what was necessary.
“This 5p is a joke,” he said. “Is it going to be any help? Not really. If it was a substantial reduction then maybe it would help.”
Noting the rising cost of fuel “creeps through everything,” Mr Lawrenson said services such as the local community transport buses were seeing their budgets being eaten into.
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