Rising labour costs threaten to push up price of housing and childcare, claims report

Chairman of the NCC, Professor Peter Clinch

A major new report has found that the rising rate of labour costs threaten to push up prices in housing and childcare.

Rising rents, high interest rates and the increasing cost of doing business are among the threats to Ireland's competitiveness.

According to a new report from the National Competitiveness Council, wages have increased by 2.9% in the past year which is four times faster than other prices in the economy.

The report warns that without similar increases in productivity, the cost of essential consumer products like housing, rent and childcare could be driven up.

It said that, with Brexit looming, it is more important than ever that Ireland remains competitive.

The report from the National Competitiveness Council uses the latest available international data to compare a wide range of costs that Irish businesses face relative to costs across the EU.

It found that in the shadow of Brexit, Ireland remains competitive but there is cause for concern.

The cost of credit in Ireland, for example, is significantly higher than the euro area, which means Irish businesses have to pay more money to invest.

Ireland is now a high-cost economy, and the fifth most expensive country in the EU, while the cost of doing business here is also on the rise.

Chairman of the NCC, Professor Peter Clinch said with the backdrop of Brexit and the uncertainty it brings, it is more important than ever that Ireland remains competitive.

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