Buying a house or buying a car is, for most people, a major cost. In both instances, we pay far more than most of our European peers.
This gap last year led to ever more used cars being imported from the UK and a continuing decline in new car sales in Ireland.
Motor dealers, who have warned of job losses, must look with envy at the banks operating in Ireland as, in general, they do not face imported competition in the mortgage market.
Because of the difficulties faced by an Irish person trying to source a mortgage in another EU country new mortgage holders can expect to pay at least €80,000 more than their European counterparts on a €300,000 mortgage over 30 years.
Analysis from Brokers Ireland, a lobby group representing 1,250 brokers, found that on a rate of 2.98%, Irish mortgage holders can expect to pay €454,000 back on a €300,000 mortgage while those in the euro area can expect to pay back €374,000.
This shocking difference pertains despite one of the European Union's core principles - the free movement of capital.
This gap has existed for many years. Government has neither confronted Irish banks and forced them to come into line with EU norms or invited European banks to offer mortgages in Ireland.
This, and the light-touch response to the ongoing tracker mortgages scandal suggest that our Government is more worried about upsetting the wretched banks than it is about protecting consumers.