Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to immediately address the skyrocketing cost of accessing consumer goods and services within the state. Deputy McGrath was speaking after an analysis performed by Eurostat showed that Irish prices for a broad cross-section of consumer goods and services were the second highest in the EU, coming in at 125% of the EU average in 2016:
“While the cost of living will come as no surprise to the vast majority of ordinary people, it may have escaped the attention of the newly selected cabinet and members of government.
They have been utterly preoccupied with the internal machinations of the Fine Gael party for the better part of a year, while at the same time the cost of living increased at an un-sustainable level for most people.
Eurostat have informed us that with the exception of consumer electronics, Ireland was above the EU average for all the price categories surveyed.
Ireland was highest in the EU for alcoholic beverages and tobacco (175% of the EU average), third highest for “personal transport equipment” i.e. cars, motor-bikes and bicycles (111% of EU average), fourth highest in the EU for restaurants and hotels and fifth highest for food and non-alcoholic drinks (both 120% of EU average).
These are stark figures and they will demonstrate the pressure that many people are experiencing just in terms of accessing basic day to day goods and services.
We need far more clarity and transparency about just why this country continues to be so much more expensive to live in than Sweden, the UK, France, Germany, Austria Spain or the Netherlands” concluded Deputy McGrath.