Surging cost of essentials 'is widening the gap between rich and poor' – Irish Examiner

The cost of key essential services — including gas, electricity, and transport — have surged over the course of the pandemic, threatening to widen the gap between rich and poor even further.

That is according to Social Justice Ireland and Threshold after it emerged electricity prices have risen by 9.4% over the last year, gas prices by 2.5% and the cost of transport services has gone up by 3.6%. 

The annual rate of inflation rose to 1.7% in May, its highest rate in two years.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show that housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels are up a combined 5.4% from a year ago, the cost of restaurants and hotels has risen almost 3%, and alcohol and tobacco are up almost 2%. One of the biggest rises has been in the cost of a haircut, up by 8.5%.

‘People on fixed incomes suffering most’

Social Justice Ireland research and policy analyst Michelle Murphy

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