Prices in Ireland 40% above the EU average - The Last Word

Image audioPrices in Ireland 40% above the EU average - The Last Word

With Eurostat announcing that prices in Ireland are 40% above the EU average, Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at speaks with Matt Cooper about the EU’s startling but unsurprising findings.

Ireland is the 2nd most expensive country in the EU

In 2019 prices in Ireland were 29% higher than the EU average. However, this has now risen to 40% and it only promises to get worse. 

Ireland is now dearer than traditionally expensive countries such as Luxembourg, Sweden and Finland, with only Denmark beating us marginally on prices.

It is expected that by next year, we will have bypassed Denmark regarding the cost of goods. 

Take a look at this article to discover why Ireland is so expensive.

Alcohol and tobacco prices are higher than the rest of Europe

The price of alcoholic goods and tobacco products in Ireland is far more expensive than in the rest of Europe. This is mainly due to the taxes.  

Finland has the second-highest prices for these goods, however, they are still 20% lower than Ireland. 

It must also be noted that this study was done in 2021 before the minimum unit pricing on alcohol came into effect in Ireland, which means the alcohol prices here have only increased since. 

How does Ireland compare to the rest of Europe price-wise?

Prices in Ireland in 2021 were considerably higher than in the rest of Europe. 

If we take a look at the figures here, you can see how each sector is fairing in relation to the EU average. 

  • 89% above: Housing costs such as rent, mortgage rates, gas and electricity bills 
  • 30% above: Hotel prices - The fourth most expensive in the EU
  • 70% above: Healthcare costs 
  • 3% above: White goods such as washing machines, dishwashers, furniture
  • 1% below: Clothes and footwear

As prices have risen across Ireland and Europe since 2021 due to inflation and the war in Ukraine, it is likely that these figures have only worsened as 2022 has unfolded.

Wages in Ireland are above the EU average

According to this study, the average full-time median wage is between 40-50,000 per year in Ireland, meaning on the surface we have a high-wage economy. We also have one of the highest minimum wage rates in Europe. 

However, these high wages get eaten up by the high cost of living. Simply put, the wages do not compensate for this high cost of living. 

When we look at Iceland for instance, their prices are slightly above ours, but their wages would be higher and therefore, go further. 

Lastly, it should be noted that the cost of childcare was not covered in this Eurostat study. However, if it was I can only imagine it would have sent the rest of our costs through the roof. 

For example, childcare here can range between 800 -1000 per month, whereas in other countries it is entirely free. 

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