Tuesday 28 March 2017

Prices are up, wages can't keep up and we're getting poorer by the day

Banks are ramping up pressure on families in arrears
Banks are ramping up pressure on families in arrears

There is a great offer from Dublin Bus called the Rambler. It is a 30-day, all-bus ticket including the likes of Aircoach. For regular bus users it constitutes great value, rather than paying for separate journeys each time you hop on and off a bus. However, something strange is going on in prices these days.

Last week, I was talking to an old mate who is a bus devotee and he was making the point that the rate of inflation is not accurate. He says he is listening to all sorts of experts telling him that we are living in a low-inflation environment, yet he doesn't feel it. As evidence, he pulled out his Rambler card. In 2011, the Rambler cost €105 per month. Today, it costs €137.50. This is an enormous jump in the fare.

At a time when the rate of inflation is supposed to be low, the price of bus travel, which is hardly a luxury item, has jumped dramatically. The monthly Dublin Bus Rambler ticket is now €32.50 more expensive than it was in 2011. To put that in context, this is a 30pc increase in three years. Thirty percent in three years! This is Latin American 1980s-style price inflation.

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