Winners and losers: The Want mores
Cost of living down 0.6 per cent over the last year
National average down 2.1 per cent over 12 months
THE middle-classes or aspirational "tiger" families have seen much of their wealth wiped out over the past three years through falls in the property market and investments.
They are being squeezed harder than most other sectors of society, according to the latest Sunday Independent/ KBC cost of Living survey. The cost of living for the midle classes has risen slightly in recent months but is still marginally down over a full year. This would represent the return of inflation for the first time since December 2008.
The cost of sending their kids to a top private school and on to university is biting hard, with education bills rising by 8.9 per cent over the past year.
Holidays abroad are also more expensive with package holidays increasing by 2.8 per cent. Getting a trout-pout or a new set of dazzlers has also risen in price, with outpatient services up 3.6 per cent. Alternative or complementary medicine is around 1.1 per cent less expensive.
Having the most up-to-date scoop on pneumatic celebrities and Wags is also more expensive, with magazines up 0.5 per cent. Fuel bills are a huge burden, especially if the black Land Rover Vogues or other vast SUVs need refilling, as petrol and diesel costs have jumped an incredible 23.5 per cent in the last year.
The biggest benefit for these aspirational families has been the fall in mortgage interest, which accounted for a massive chunk of monthly outgoings. This has fallen 39.1 per cent over the past two years but moves by banks to hike rates have seen the impact of this relief shrink. Mortgage interest costs are down by just 0.7 per cent in the past year.
Going to the gym with the other perma-tanned rat racers is 1.4 per cent cheaper, along with other recreational services.