A new Eurostat report has shown Ireland is now the most expensive city in the EU.
A survey comparing the prices of goods and services across 36 European countries in 2022 shows that prices in Ireland were 46% above the EU average.
The price of alcohol and tobacco were 116% more expensive than the EU average, and three times as high as the lowest price recorded in Bulgaria.
Ireland’s energy prices were 38.4% of the EU average, while communications such as telephone services were 56.4% more expensive.
Bonkers.ie spokesperson Darragh Cassidy said these figures are not surprising to Irish people – but show a shocking comparison to other countries.
“We're even more expensive than Norway now,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
“15 years ago, I rented with a Norwegian girl... she used to always say she’d stock up on things here before going to Oslo because it was so much more expensive there.”
Now, Ireland is 3.1% more expensive than Norway.
Mr Cassidy said a lot of these high prices can be explained by Government policy, such as the price of alcohol and tobacco.
“With alcohol, it's not as bad for your health as tobacco,” he said. “I don’t know how happy people will be to hear we’re the second most expensive in the EU, only behind Finland.”
Government subsidies can also decide the cost of living in a country.
“In a lot of countries, they have lower transport costs, they have lower childcare costs, they have cheaper healthcare because the Government steps in and provides a cheaper service,” Mr Cassidy said.
“The Government takes the Scandinavian approach is they’ll tax us to the hill on alcohol and they’ll tax us to the hill on tobacco.
“But we don’t then get the big subsidies on childcare, on health or on transport. That's where the Government needs to improve.”
The only category of consumer goods that was cheaper than the EU average in Ireland last year was clothing, as consumers in Ireland paid 3.3% below average.
According to Mr Cassidy, this is because of the increased levels of competition in this area compared to others such as transport.
“There is really good competition, whereas in other sectors there’s not,” he said.
Irish people may need to learn to shop around more, according to Mr Cassidy.
“We need to get used to being a little bit more frugal,” he said.
“In Ireland we hate tightfisted-ness, but that’s how shops charge those high prices because they know they can get away with it.
“We’re too generous for our own good.”
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