THE COST OF education increased by more than 25 per cent in the past four years – even as the country fell deeper into recession.
Education costs rose by 26.1 per cent between 2006 – the peak of the boom – and 2010, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). During last year alone, the cost of education increased significantly by 6.4 per cent.
Increases in education costs relate to all aspects of primary, secondary, third level expenses – as well and other education and training such as night courses, play schools and examination fees.
The Consumer Price Index also shows that the cost of health care has surged since the peak of the boom, with the prices increasing by 13.6 per cent in just four years. Last year, the cost of health care increased by 0.6 per cent.
A range of health care expense considerations were considered when compiling the latest figures, including costs for medical products, appliances and equipment, hospital charges and out-patient services supplied by doctors, dentists, opticians and practitioners of alternative and complimentary medicine.
Consumers are not only being warned about the growing burden of health care and education costs. Figures show that inflation increased to 1.3 per cent last year as a result of soaring oil and petrol prices.
Transport costs rose 1.8 per cent in 2010 because of the increases in petrol and diesel prices. The cost home heating oil increased by 0.6 per cent overall.
However, some falling costs were also recorded: a decrease of 2.2 per cent on the price of clothing and footwear was seen, mainly due to sales; and similarly the price of alcohol and tobacco fell due to lower prices for wine and spirits sold in off-licences and supermarkets.