Thursday 23 October 2014

'Squeezed middle' are hit the hardest by cost hikes

Published 18/05/2014 | 02:30

Birgitte Sorensen in hip dark Nordic thriller Borgen

THE "squeezed middle" has been hardest hit by the rising cost of living since the Enda Kenny-led Government was elected just over three years ago.

The latest Sunday Independent/KBC Bank Cost of Living survey reveals that rising household bills, school fees, energy costs and insurance fees have hiked the so-called squeezed middle living costs by 7.9 per cent in three years. That's more than double the national average.

Even watching Birgitte Sorensen in hip dark Nordic thriller Borgen has got pricier as the cost of living rises. TV charges are up 4.9 percent this year. The "squeezed middle" have been sucker-punched by the failure of wages to keep up with inflation. They are people in well-paying jobs who find that they have little money at the end of each month.

But the middle classes aren't the only ones to have been clobbered by rising bills, with pensioners also seeing their living costs soar at a far faster rate than the national average.

The survey crunches monthly spending patterns for different spheres of society and blends them into consumer price inflation data to provide a unique insight into the rising cost of living.

Sunday Indo Business

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