{"id":2091,"date":"2018-12-31T22:54:15","date_gmt":"2018-12-31T22:54:15","guid":{"rendered":"http:\/\/overinireland.com\/?p=2091"},"modified":"2019-10-10T14:31:00","modified_gmt":"2019-10-10T14:31:00","slug":"why-is-ireland-expensive","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https:\/\/overinireland.com\/why-is-ireland-expensive\/","title":{"rendered":"Why Is Ireland Expensive?"},"content":{"rendered":"

Ireland sure is a lovely country to visit, but many who do so find it very expensive. And they\u2019re not alone.<\/p>\n

People who live in Ireland are well aware that consumer goods and services in their country are significantly more expensive than the EU average.<\/p>\n

There are very few countries in the European Union with higher costs of living.<\/p>\n

So why is Ireland expensive?<\/em> Several reasons might be at fault. Ireland is an island country, with relatively few citizens, which makes importing products more necessary and expensive. To an extent, taxes can also add to the expensiveness of certain goods and services in Ireland. In some parts of the country, the tourism industry can make things more expensive, as can the overall impression of Ireland being a wealthy country. <\/strong><\/p>\n

Knowing why a country is expensive is one thing. But if you\u2019re planning a trip to Ireland, you should understand how expensive it is, and how you can find a cheaper time to travel to Ireland<\/a><\/strong>. You can learn that, and more, in this article.<\/p>\n


How Expensive Is Ireland?<\/h2>\n

Before we start looking at reasons why Ireland is such an expensive country, maybe we should first figure out whether it\u2019s expensive and how expensive it is. Surely someone coming from one of the world\u2019s richest countries will find Ireland less expensive than someone coming from the developing world.<\/p>\n

Ireland is a European country and a member of EU, so let\u2019s see how it compares with other countries in Europe and the European Union. Eurostat, the European Commission\u2019s agency in charge of statistics, calculates the price level index for household consumption every year. The index shows how expensive it is to live in a country compared to the average costs of living for the twenty-eight European members.<\/p>\n

According to Eurostat\u2019s data for 2017<\/a>, the index for Ireland was 125.4. This number demonstrates that the prices for consumer goods and services in Ireland were 25.4% higher than the average in Europe. EU countries that were more expensive than Ireland were Denmark, Luxemburg, and Sweden.<\/p>\n

When compared to all European countries, Ireland is still expensive. Out of the ten non-EU countries covered by Eurostat, only three were more expensive than Ireland. According to data, Ireland is the fourth most expensive country in the EU and the seventh most expensive in Europe. And Europe, in general, isn\u2019t affordable. So yes, Ireland is an expensive place to live or visit.<\/p>\n

People who live in the United States would think so, too. Among the many things Americans would find more expensive in Ireland are eating out, cigarettes, transportation, clothing, and rent. And to make things more confusing, the Irish have a lower average monthly net salary than Americans.<\/p>\n

What Makes Ireland Such an Expensive Country?<\/h2>\n

So what gives? For every hundred euros, you\u2019d spend in a country that is at or near the European average \u2014 Italy, for example \u2014 you\u2019d have to spend a bit over a hundred and twenty-five euros in Ireland to get the same thing. There has to be a good reason for it.<\/p>\n

The problem with figuring out what makes a country expensive is that you end up dealing with a multitude of factors which may or may not apply to specific products. For example, Ireland\u2019s value-added tax, or VAT is roughly two percent higher than the average VAT in EU countries. That alone can be one of the causes why people visiting Ireland might find some of the prices higher. But is that the only reason? Probably not.<\/p>\n

As we\u2019ll soon see on the example of alcoholic beverages, the VAT isn\u2019t the only tax a country can levy, and that further complicates the structure of prices in the country. And because Ireland has a total of four VAT bands, the VAT might not be the reason why certain products are more expensive in Ireland than in other countries.<\/p>\n

At the same time, Ireland is a small market that\u2019s relatively isolated and prosperous. And its first neighbor uses a different currency. Ireland might not be able to produce everything it needs, so it\u2019s only natural it will import goods and services. But because of the costs of transport and small quantities, the prices of goods go up.<\/p>\n

If the retailers can profit off the exchange rate, they will. All of the above probably plays a role in the costliness of industries dominated by international players, such as the apparel industry<\/a>.<\/p>\n

And as if all of this wasn\u2019t enough, Ireland has a low level of public investment. The basic services, including transport, housing, and even childcare, are provided by the private sector. And the private sector is in it for the profit, not to keep Ireland affordable.<\/p>\n

Why Is Alcohol So Expensive in Ireland?<\/h2>\n

Among the many things Ireland owes its worldwide fame to, high-quality alcoholic beverages have a special place. The whole world knows about Guinness, Bailey\u2019s, and Irish whiskeys. People around the world know what Irish coffee is, and they love it. Irish cider isn\u2019t half bad, as many people who\u2019ve been to Ireland would attest. And they\u2019ll also say that they found it surprisingly expensive.<\/p>\n

We\u2019ve already mentioned that arguably the main reason why alcohol is so expensive in Ireland is high taxes. But it\u2019s not the regular taxes that are the main reason why a pint of Guinness costs less in Spain than in Ireland<\/a>, for example. It\u2019s the excise tax that is to blame.<\/p>\n

To be perfectly fair, the excise tax isn\u2019t technically a tax at all \u2014 it\u2019s a duty or a tariff that\u2019s imposed on certain kinds of products under certain circumstances. If you travel a lot, you are probably familiar with duty-free shops \u2014 a specific type of shops that sell products without the duty that would regularly be applied to the price of the product.<\/p>\n

The goods where these taxes are usually applied are cigarettes, gasoline, and \u2014 alcoholic beverages. And those taxes wouldn\u2019t raise the prices of alcohol by that much if they were the only taxes that are applied to alcoholic beverages. But they are not \u2014 they go on top of the standard VAT rates, which are 23% in Ireland.<\/p>\n

According to data<\/a> gathered by the Alcohol Beverage Foundation of Ireland, the country has the most expensive prices of alcohol in the EU \u2014 75% above the EU average. In 2014, for every pint consumed in bars, around 30% of the price went to the exchequer. For off-license whiskey and wine, the percentage goes well above 60%.<\/p>\n

Tips for the Budget Traveler to Ireland<\/h2>\n

Because tourism remains such an important contributor to Ireland\u2019s economy, it\u2019s safe to say that at least some of the tourists are finding ways to make their trip to Ireland more affordable<\/a>. Here is a couple you can use on your next trip to Ireland:<\/p>\n