RTÉ Brainstorm – Why are prices in Ireland so high?

Whitaker Institute member Stephen McNena, of the Performance Management Cluster, has written a new article for RTÉ Brainstorm. The piece looks at the price of goods and services in Ireland, which are substantially above the EU average.

Why are prices in Ireland so high?

'It is clear that Ireland has been, and is, an expensive place to live'

‘It is clear that Ireland has been, and is, an expensive place to live’

Analysis: Ireland’s high prices are not a recent phenomenon and they’ve become relatively more expensive than the EU average year after year

The increase in the rate of consumer price inflation since mid-2021 is a serious issue facing households and politicians. However, the level of consumer prices in Ireland has been substantially above the EU average for many years. Eurostat, the EU statistical agency, measures the price level of Household Final Consumption Expenditure each year across the EU. This covers all types of consumer expenditure, including food and beverages, clothing and footwear, energy and housing and health and education.

In 2021, Denmark was in first place, with a price level of 140.3, compared to the EU27 average of 100. Ireland was in second place, slightly below the Danish level at 140.1. This means consumer prices are 40% above the EU average in Ireland and Denmark. Sweden was in fourth place at 127.9, with Finland close behind at 126.3. The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Austria are next, all between 112 and 116. The lowest price levels in the EU are in Bulgaria and Romania, both about 56, and Poland at 60. Continue reading…