A coffee to go recently set me back €4. We always pay it because the store next door probably isn’t cheaper and it’s too awkward to say “Are you crazy?”. and go outside.
I love Dublin, but sometimes I feel like our capital is priced me away. The French embassy warns newcomers of a “serious housing crisis” and “heavy rent increases”.
“We don’t know what the bills will be,” Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said last week.
lonely planet warned visitors traveling here this summer that “some things have changed, particularly in the capital where housing shortages, rising rental car costs and airport chaos have made headlines”.
We know we pay through our noses for everything from an Uber fare to a soggy sandwich these days, but where does inflation end and opportunism begin? Are companies raising prices under the guise of inflation rather than because of inflation? Could we get to a point where we’re pushing each other out of town?
Money – or rather a lack of it – is all that most of us can think about. Well, that and fuel poverty.
On one level you would have to say: hard. If you don’t want to shell out €4 for a latte or €12 for a G&T, just don’t pay it.
But stop bitching. Coffee is not an essential service, and buying a cup is a relatively straightforward over-the-counter transaction.
This recent era of inflation has been long and harsh, beginning early last year and, with few exceptions, has seen successively higher prices month after month.
It was tough for consumers. Soaring energy costs basically drove prices up, but you’ve probably noticed the pain everywhere: Rents are rising to prohibitive levels, grocery prices are rising and rising, and even if you can find a handyman or a babysitter, you might want to double-check your apartment Bank balance.
Everyone is there: insurance companies, lawyers, plumbers, supermarkets, restaurants, innkeepers. Government policy – or its failure – has created the conditions where buying a handful of Dublin houses and renting them back to the council is finding international pension funds as an easy way to make a quick buck.
Almost every industry is affected. If you’ve been trying to book a hotel, get your hair cut or hire a childminder, you’ve probably paid a lot more for it than usual and you’ve probably paid more for it than anyone else in Europe.
This summer, research by the Central Statistics Office in collaboration with Eurostat found that food prices in Ireland were 17 per cent higher than the EU average, making them the second most expensive in the euro zone. Milk, cheese and eggs were 25 percent above the EU average.
Wait a minute – isn’t this the Emerald Isle where eggs, milk and cheese are mass produced? How on earth do we pay 25 percent more than anyone else for these staples. How does it even make sense?
Everyone has their favorite story about what went wrong and what policies would get our economy back on track. Some say it’s too much capitalism, while others say it’s not enough.
I know that when costs go up, companies need to raise prices. Business creates jobs, and our low unemployment rate is about the only economic statistic we can be proud of right now.
Some small businesses have no choice but to pass on the cost. They risk going under if they don’t. But inflation makes us all a little poorer. Every day we lose more and more purchasing power because our wages do not keep up with price increases.
Companies shouldn’t automatically assume they can hold margins this fall, and they certainly shouldn’t use inflation as an excuse to increase them.
So where is the turning point? I think it might be the 8 euro pints served in Dublin city centre.
In the summer, three families on my street bought their first house. Not in Dublin. Young people want out of here.
Research carried out by Red C on behalf of the National Youth Council of Ireland found that 70 per cent of our young people are considering emigration for a better quality of life.
This winter, some of us will climb down the back of the sofa and rummage in the pockets of our jeans to afford the bus fare to work.
Why don’t we all move away? In our case, the answer is because family ties and work speak against it. But the balance is tipping.
Leinster House might finally be feeling the heat over the cost of living. Unfortunately, residents show little self-reflection, instead, as usual, doubling down on what they do best, increasing government spending on the wrong things and making the situation worse.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/cost-of-living-in-dublin-has-gone-through-the-roof-if-you-can-afford-a-roof-in-the-first-place-42008143.html The cost of living in Dublin has gone through the roof – if you can even afford a roof