Wednesday 14 November 2018

Ireland most expensive place in EU to buy tobacco and alcohol

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Ireland was the most expensive country in the EU for alcoholic beverages and tobacco in 2016, with alcohol and tobacco prices in Ireland roughly 75pc higher than the average price in the EU.

The UK and Finland completed the top three most expensive countries in the EU for alcohol and tobacco.

At the other end of the scale, alcohol and tobacco were cheapest to purchase in Bulgaria, with prices approximately 44pc lower than the EU average, according to consumer price level data from Eurostat.

In terms of food prices, the highest prices were to be found in Denmark in 2016, where food cost almost 50pc more than the EU average. Sweden and Austria completed the top three countries in the EU food prices index.

Ireland was the sixth most expensive place for food prices, with groceries here costing 20pc more than the EU average. At the bottom end, food price levels were lowest in Poland where food cost an average of 40pc less than the EU average.

The highest price dispersion across the various sections can be found for alcoholic beverages and tobacco, according to Eurostat.

This is mainly due to large differences in taxation on these products across the 28 Member States.

In the area of housing costs, a very topical issue in Ireland at the moment, the UK was the most expensive of the EU countries for housing costs in 2016, with prices approximately 60pc higher than the EU average.

Included in the housing costs are rental costs, water prices, electricity and fuel.

Luxembourg, which was the most expensive of the EU countries for furniture (at 22pc higher than the EU average), was the second most expensive country in the EU for housing cost prices, while Denmark completed the top three.

Ireland came in as the fourth most expensive country for housing cost prices - with Irish prices approximately 42pc higher than the EU average in 2016.

And housing costs here show no sign of decreasing, with rental costs alone having risen nationwide by almost 12pc in the year to June 2017.

Meanwhile the supply of accommodation in Ireland is at an all-time low.

According to a recent report from Daft.ie the average monthly rent in Ireland is now €1,159, This is up €122 a month since last year.

Much less dispersion is apparent in the prices of clothing and footwear where Sweden was the most expensive country, with goods in this category costing over 35pc more there than the EU average.

The least expensive country for clothing and footwear was Bulgaria, where the price of clothing and footwear was just 20pc less expensive than the EU average.

Ireland was approximately 10pc above the EU average for costs in this category.

Finally, in the area of communications, which includes the cost of the postal service, telephone, and internet costs, Ireland was the second most expensive country in the EU, coming in just behind Greece.

The UK completed the top three most expensive EU countries for communications.

In Ireland, communications cost roughly 33pc more than the EU average.

At the other end of the scale, communications were cheapest in Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Estonia, with costs in Lithuania around 50pc less than the EU average.

Irish Independent

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