Thursday, July 25, 2024

Rip-off Ireland alive and well as country second-most-expensive in EU

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Rip-off Ireland is alive and well after official figures revealed this country is the second-most-expensive state in the EU for goods and services.

It has emerged that prices here are an incredible 42 percent higher than the average for the EU and are just behind Denmark, which is the most expensive. Prices in that Scandinavian country are 43 percent higher than the European average, the figures from the EU’s statistical agency Eurostat show.

The survey shows our housing costs, such as rents, mortgage rates, gas and electricity, are the most expensive in the EU, at over double the average. Despite Ireland having a huge agricultural sector, food prices here are 13 percent higher than the average. Alcohol and tobacco prices here are the most expensive in the EU and more than double the average for the rest of Europe.

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The EU’s official statistics agency said the large price variation in alcohol and tobacco was mainly down to government-imposed taxes. Ireland has not just the highest tax on these in Europe but is among the highest in the entire world.

Those who like eating out are also being fleeced as the survey shows price levels in restaurants and hotels were 28 percent above the EU average. Households are also suffering from Ireland’s cost-of-living crisis as they paid on average 18 percent more for energy last year.

And despite claims that the cost of travel is coming down, the statistics show transport costs are 15 percent more expensive in this country than the EU average. Consumer groups claim that high taxes and weak regulatory enforcement are among the main reasons why Irish people are paying more for the same goods and services as their European neighbours.

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