Monday 21 January 2019

You'll have to chip in more for your Christmas spuds this festive season

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Roast potatoes for the Christmas dinner are set to cost more this festive season.

The price of the humble spud has shot up due to the summer drought, official figures confirmed.

Roosters, Maris Pipers and Queens are now 14.2pc dearer than they were last year, according to the latest inflation figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The dry summer has led to a huge fall off in the yields of potatoes from Irish farms.

Retailers have been forced to import the traditional staple of the domestic diet due to the shortages of the tuber.

Last year, this country imported 72,000 tonnes of potatoes, with expectations that the figure for this year will be higher.

Energy price rises also contributed to higher costs for consumers last month.

Consumer prices rose by 0.6pc in the year to November, as rents continued to go up and the price of home-heating and electricity increased. Domestic gas price rises also contributed to the inflation rate. The rise in excise duty on cigarettes meant that category of the consumer price index was up almost 7pc. The Budget saw the price of 20 cigarettes rise by 50c to €12.70 due to an increase in duty.

Restaurants and hotels saw average prices climb, pushed up by higher alcohol prices, while education prices edged up 1.7pc.

There were also price falls, with furnishings and household equipment costs down 4.1pc. Motor insurance rates were down by 7.6pc.

Irish Independent

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