Official figures confirm that Ireland has the highest cost of living in Europe

The Irish don’t imagine it when they express their discontent with the cost of living – official data shows that we are among the most expensive in Europe for medicines, alcohol and tobacco, but also public transport, housing costs, maintenance and bills.

Data from the European Commission’s statistics body Eurostat this week highlighted that Ireland is the most expensive country in the EU for spirits, beer, wine, tobacco and painkillers, when all are taken together.

Eurostat found that prices for alcohol, tobacco and drugs in Ireland are 86.9% higher than the EU average. Ireland only lags behind the two non-EU members Norway and Iceland overall in the European ranking.

It follows from data released earlier this summer by Eurostat regarding housing costs. Ireland significantly outperforms the entire bloc of member states, at 77.7% above the EU average.

Eurostat includes the likes of rent, maintenance, utility bills and repairs in the list of housing costs, and Ireland comes only after Switzerland, a non-EU member included by the Statistical Authority for comparison purposes, along with the Nordic countries.

When it comes to hospitality, Ireland lags only behind Switzerland and Nordic countries such as Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Eurostat data shows that Ireland ranks seventh in terms of cost of restaurants, cafes, pubs, hotels, hostels, etc.

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We’re no better off when it comes to entertainment and entertainment spending, according to the data.

Defined by Eurostat as the cost of audio-visual, photography, and information processing – in other words, items such as phones, tablets, cameras and computers – Ireland stands only behind Switzerland, the Nordic countries and a handful of EU countries such as Austria and Luxembourg.

Vacation packages and pet ownership are also included in this category.

Telephone and broadband connection costs are also more expensive than most countries, with Ireland ranked seventh in the European Union and affiliated countries such as Norway and Switzerland.

With great focus on shifting from private to public transportation in the coming years to meet the goals of the newly signed climate law, the prices consumers are facing have revealed the challenge ahead.

According to Eurostat data, when it comes to rail and bus transport, Ireland ranks fifth overall, well ahead of the EU average. Flying and driving costs are also included in this category.

Buying a car in Ireland is also much more expensive than most of our European neighbours. We are only behind Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands when it comes to costs.

It puts into context why there is a huge market for Irish drivers going to the UK before Brexit to import high-end cars like Audi, BMW and Mercedes, because of the savings that can be made, even when the vehicle registration tax on import back to Ireland was taken in consideration.

The data shows that when it comes to switching to emissions-friendly transportation, cycling is just as expensive.

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Interior design measures such as bedrooms, rugs, and furnishings see Ireland ninth overall.

Of all the EU member states, Bulgaria ranks as the cheapest in a range of categories such as clothing, housing, and public transport.

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