Survey reveals Dublin citizens 'pay more'

Well-groomed Dubliners pay a hair-raising barbers bill compared to their country cousins while daily staples like bread and milk are cheaper in the capital, a new price survey revealed today.

Shoppers can make significant savings on their Sunday dinner by choosing between a leg of lamb or roast chicken depending on whether they are in the city or in the country.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) poll unsurprisingly found goods and services in the country’s towns and villages are often a lot cheaper but there are many bargains to be had in the capital.

The sharpest price difference was at the hairdressers where Dublin men pay a whopping 45% more for a wash, cut and blow dry than they would if they lived elsewhere in Ireland.

A normal, dry cut for men is 35% dearer in Dublin while hair salons are no snip for city women either, who have to shell out 21% more for a wash cut and blow dry than they would in the country.

If they’re going to the cinema afterwards they will be making no savings there, with a night out at the flicks setting Dubliners back 10% more than the picture houses in smaller towns.

But there were more mixed results in the grocery basket, with only eight of 18 meat products and three out of five fish products proving more expensive in the city.

Best back rashers were a sizzling 22% dearer in Dublin, a medium uncooked chicken was 20% more expensive and salmon steaks were 6% costlier.

However, city dwellers can buy fillets of plaice for 9.5% cheaper, round steak for almost 6% less while buying a whole leg of lamb in the capital brings 5% in savings.

Nine out of ten fruit and vegetables bought at grocers both in and outside Dublin for the CSO survey carried out last month were costlier in the city.

Grapes were around 10% dearer, potatoes were 9% more expensive while carrots - the only item in the fruit and vegetable basket cheaper for Dubliners – cost 3% less.

Ten out of 16 everyday food and non-alcoholic beverages in the average household trolley, including milk, cheese, butter, eggs, bread, flour, sugar, tea and spaghetti showed lower average prices in Dublin.

Although milk, white bread and spaghetti were all 5% cheaper in Dublin, as was white self-raising flour (-8%), other staples like orange juice (+19%) and half a dozen eggs (+12%) were dearer.

Alcoholic drinks bought from off-licences in the city and the country were generally around the same price but going out for a drink in Dublin makes a bigger dent in the wallet.

The average drink in the capital’s bars was around 10% dearer than the country pub with a half pint of lager almost 14% more expensive.

The price study found little difference in cigarettes and tobacco while car-owners can expect to pay 1.5% more for petrol and diesel in the capital’s filling stations.

Of the 79 items included in the biannual analysis, average prices were higher in Dublin for 49 items, lower for 28 items while two items were the same.

On average, the prices of the goods and services were 4.9% higher in Dublin last month compared to 4.3% more expensive in the capital in the last survey in November 2007.

When the prices of drinks bought in a bar are excluded from the comparison, the average price difference between Dublin and outside Dublin falls to 2.1%.

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