Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty has said workers and families cannot cope with the rising cost of living.

He told the Dáil that both older and younger people are having to choose between food or turning on the heat.

"Rising prices hit lower income families the hardest," he said, as he called on Government to do more to support them.

Last month, a new report showed that the rapidly increasing cost of living is now the main issue of concern for the public.

Permanent TSB's "Reflecting Ireland" survey revealed that the cost of living was a concern for 62% of respondents, with the price of housing and access to healthcare also on people's minds.

Today, Mr Doherty said people's anxiety levels have gone through the roof amid indications from Government that it will not take further action until the Budget in October.

"Will you look at a social welfare package to support those who are most vulnerable?" he asked Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Minister Donohoe said the Government was well aware of the crisis facing people and had already acted on two occasions.

"We face a crisis the duration of which is uncertain," the minister said, and he pledged that Government would help and will now begin to implement recent decisions.