New research from Eurostat has found that consumer prices in Ireland are 40% above the EU average and are now the second highest in the EU with only Denmark in front.
Health costs are the most expensive in the EU, at 72% above average. While housing costs such as rents, mortgage rates, gas and electricity, are again the most expensive at 89% above the EU average.
Ireland has the most expensive alcohol and tobacco in the entire EU with prices here over double the EU average. However, these figures were compiled before Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on alcohol was introduced, which has raised prices here further.
The report also shows that Ireland performs poorly when it comes to restaurants and hotels, where prices are the fourth most expensive in the EU, at 30% above average. Again these figures were compiled before scores of hotels were blockbooked by the Government to house asylum seekers and Ukrainians fleeing the war, which some say has led to prices in the hotel sector skyrocketing this summer. Ireland also has the third most expensive food and non-alcoholic beverages in the EU, with prices here 19% above the EU average, according to Eurostat.
Commenting on the research, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, Daragh Cassidy said, "No one is under the illusion that Ireland is a cheap place to live. However the scale of the difference in prices between Ireland and our neighbours is pretty shocking. And it’s getting worse, which doesn’t bode well for our competitiveness. In 2016, prices in Ireland were 29% above the EU average. But this gap has risen every year since."
He added, "Of course wages in Ireland are also above the EU average. However not by over 40% for most people. I would urge the Government to look at measures that are within its control to lower the impact of high prices and the cost of living in Ireland."