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It's official: Irish prices for cigarettes and alcohol are EU's highest

Irish drink prices are 62 per cent higher than the EU average – and only the Finns pay more for their drink.
Jun 22nd 2013, 7:15 AM 11,137 86

IRISH PEOPLE pay more for cigarettes and alcohol than virtually everyone else in the European Union, new EU data has shown.

Figures published by the EU’s statistics body, Eurostat, show Ireland’s tobacco prices are almost twice the European average – while only one country, Finland, pays more for its alcoholic drinks.

Irish alcohol prices are 62 per cent higher than the EU average – with Finland’s 75 per cent higher – while tobacco prices are a full 99 per cent higher than the average price paid around the EU.

Tobacco prices show a wider variance throughout the EU, with Hungary having the cheapest tobacco – where locals pay just 52 per cent of the EU average, barely over a quarter of the prices paid in Ireland.

The gap between the priciest and cheapest alcohol is slightly narrower, but still significant: Bulgaria’s alcohol, priced at 67 per cent of the European average, costs just a little more than two-fifths of what people would pay in Ireland.

The Eurostat figures also showed that Ireland has the fifth-highest prices in the EU for food and non-alcohol beverages, at 18 per cent higher than the EU average.

Denmark pays the most for its foods, at 43 per cent higher than the average, while Poland is the cheapest country, 39 per cent below the average.

Irish shoppers pay 10 per cent more than the European average for bread, cereals and meats, and 19 per cent more than the average for eggs and dairy products.

Poland consistently comes in as the cheapest country in the EU for each of those foodstuffs.

Read: Reilly facing EU battle on banning of menthol cigarettes

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Gavan Reilly

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