A study conducted by Eurostat shows that Ireland has the highest prices in Europe for alcohol and tobacco, despite over half a decade of tough successive government austerity measures.
The figures released show that for alcohol and tobacco, Irish consumers pay 178% of the EU average, the highest in Europe. Overall consumer prices in Ireland are the fifth highest in total at 118% of the EU average.
The percentages are based on data collected during 2013 and show that people in Ireland are paying above average for almost all goods and services with the exception of clothing, where we pay 98% the EU average.
According to Eurostat, “This large price variation is mainly due to differences in taxation of these products”.
The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has called for the reversal of excise duty on alcohol following the report’s publication. “Tax increases have damaged Ireland’s reputation as a destination for drinks related capital investment, tourists have identified the high price of alcohol as the second biggest disincentive to visit Ireland (after the weather). The figures provide compelling evidence for an excise reversal,” said Peter O’Brien, chairperson of DIGI.
Overall prices were highest in Denmark at 140% of the average and lowest in Bulgaria at 50% of the average.