With inflation now almost three times the average European rate, maintaining competitiveness and successfully negotiating a new national pay deal is becoming an increasingly difficult task for the social partners.
The biggest annual increase has been in the education sector were prices have shot up by 13.9 in the last year.
Also soaring is the cost of health care (up 10.2 percent), services (up 7.7 percent), hotel, bar and restaurant charges (up 6.9 percent) and transportation (up 5.8 percent).
Labor Finance spokesperson Joan Burton questioned why Irish inflation continues to run at more than twice the European average.
“In addition, the personal experience of consumers on the ground is that prices for many goods and services appear to be increasing at a rate well in excess of the official rate of inflation,” she said.
She predicted a further jump in the rate when budget changes take effect.
“A major portion of the increase is in the area of education and the decision to increase third-level registration charges by almost 70 percent accounts for a large portion of this,” she said.
“The screw is likely to be turned even further on consumers in the New Year when the 13 percent increase in ESB charges comes into operation and the full impact of the government’s budget decision to increase VAT is felt.
“It is also clear that householders are facing increases in a wide range of local authority services as a result of the refusal of the government to provide adequate revenue for local councils.”
Last week, the Irish government also agreed to a TV license fee increase of euro 43 euros to euro 150. It will hit virtually every home in the country.
An Bord Gais has sought a 27 percent increase and CIE fare increases will hit travelers.
The barrage of price increases in the pipeline is expected to see inflation exceeding 6 percent in the early months of the New Year.