Dublin has retained its place as one of the 50 most expensive cities in the world, according to the latest survey from international travel expert Mercer.
The Republic’s capital ranks 42 out of the top 50 ahead of Barcelona, Frankfurt, Madrid and Lisbon.
The survey compared the costs of housing, transport, food, clothes, household goods and entertainment and is often used by multinational companies to determine what wage rates should be paid to overseas workers.
It follows news earlier this week by EU statistics body Eurostat that Ireland’s prices remain over 20 percent in excess of the EU average despite fifteen successive months of inflation and a huge contraction of the economy.
Fine Gael have long been critical at the country’s exorbitant cost of living, and have said that the high food and drink costs are dissuading tourists from taking vacations in the emerald isle. The country has long been criticized for losing its competitive edge in tourism due to high costs.
The most expensive city emerged as Luanda, Angola. London ranked 17th and was also the UK’s most expensive city, while Tokyo and Ndjamena (Chad) captured the second and third places respectively.
The survey also comes close on the heels of a local county council’s decision to impose a €6 charge for visiting the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s top tourists sites. The center incurred combined losses of €500,000 in 2008 and 2009.
An Irish source described the decision as “ludicrous” in the face of Ireland’s consistent uncompetitiveness and a backward step for national tourism.