Labour conference to lambast cost of living

THE Government’s failure to address the enormous differences in costs of living between Ireland and other EU countries will be attacked at the Labour Party conference tonight.

Labour’s consumer affairs spokesperson Kathleen Lynch will also highlight the impact of government charges and indirect tax increases.

“The Government is the main contributor to the cost of living in this country in the last couple of months,” Deputy Lynch said.

According to Labour finance spokesperson Joan Burton, the coalition got re-elected boasting its ability to manage the economy yet has proven completely incompetent in this regard.

The introduction of the euro has highlighted to the public how much is being charged in this country for goods and services compared to other countries, she said.

Labour will also be looking for a more equitable taxation system and the closure of loopholes and tax avoidance schemes.

More than 1,000 delegates are expected to attend Pat Rabbitte’s first party conference as Labour leader - up from the 650 at the party’s last conference in Cork almost two years ago.

The founder of the support group for abuse and rape victims, One in Four’s Colm O’Gorman, will be the first recipient of a new award to be presented by the party this weekend.

The Jim Larkin Justice Award has been introduced to mark the 90th anniversary of the 1913 Lockout and is named after the joint founder of Labour.

“Colm O’Gorman is being honoured this year for his work as founder of the One in Four organisations and for his courage in demanding honesty, accountability, apology and redress for those who have experienced sexual abuse,” a party spokesman said yesterday.

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