Have you been feeling the pinch lately? The chances are that you probably have as Ireland has been named the most expensive EU country for cost of living.
A report released by the European Commission’s data analysis wing Eurostat revealed that Ireland was the most expensive EU country for cost of living. Ireland and Denmark were found to be a staggering 40% higher than the EU average in 2021.
According to consumer information and comparison website Bonkers, the price of everyday costs is spiralling and unlikely to stop anytime soon.
The prolonged increase in the cost of living in Ireland has led to many experts calling for the introduction of a role for a Minister for Consumer Affairs.
Interesting findings of the Eurostat report ‒ the shocking cost of living in Ireland
But why is Ireland so expensive? Ireland was found to have the highest price level for alcohol and tobacco at almost 105% more than the EU average. This was followed by Finland and Sweden, respectively.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria and Poland were found to be the most affordable at 36% and 28% lower than the EU average.
The Eurostat report also revealed Ireland to be 88.5% higher than the EU average for housing. It also came in at 88% higher for utility bills such as electricity and gas.
Shockingly, Ireland also ranked 39% higher for travel, whether by train, air, or sea. It also came in at 46.5% higher for broadband and mobile phone costs.
Finally, the report also revealed the staggering leisure costs, with Ireland ranking 29.5% higher for hotel stays and eating out.
Outside of the EU, North Macedonia is the cheapest place in Europe to buy alcohol and tobacco. Meanwhile, Turkey is the most affordable for clothes shopping and food.
The impact of the Ukraine war ‒ contributing to rising costs
Consumer information and comparison website Bonkers.ie described the figures as “staggering”. They have claimed that, due to the Ukraine conflict, prices are likely to continue to rise.
The website’s spokesperson Daragh Cassidy claimed, “These figures were compiled before scores of hotels were block-booked by the Government to house asylum seekers and Ukrainians fleeing the war.
He explains, “some say [this] has led to prices in the hotel sector skyrocketing this summer.” Regarding clothing and footwear, Ireland fares quite well as they are below the EU average for these items.
Dealing with the cost of living crisis ‒ a lack of Government measures
It’s fair to say that the huge difference in comparison between Ireland and its EU neighbours is quite shocking. Still, it seems to be getting even more vast. So, this does not bode well for Ireland and its competitiveness with other nations in the EU.
Despite the data revealed in the Eurostat report, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has dismissed any talk of a potential emergency budget to deal with the increase in the cost of living. He explained his reasoning that such an introduction would only exacerbate the situation.
He believes that the crisis “could get worse”. However, he remains steadfast in his belief that October’s budget is the best way to deal with the crisis. He explains it will provide a long-term and effective response to the cost of living crisis.