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Taking a stand against ‘rip off Ireland’

1 down, 3,499,999 more to go. We in ValueIreland.com have always said that the only way to truly counteract the high prices, overcharging and the perceived “Rip Off Ireland” is through our own activities. This letter to the editor of the Irish Independent from a reader in Maynooth, Co. Kildare last Saturday is a good example of how we can make a start as individuals.

I am one of the idiots who generated “Rip-off Ireland”. I am a 35-year-old professional with an annual salary that is more than twice the average industrial wage.

I have no idea how much a litre of milk or a loaf of bread costs, with no hesitation I will easily spend €150 in Tesco comforted by the fact that I am earning bonus points on my club card (which I never cash in).

On Tuesday, I bought some kids socks for €7 in Mothercare and when I got home my wife pointed to the UK price tag of £3.50.

I just realised that I am spending 60pc more on kids’ socks than my brother who lives London.

This was the moment that I realised that I am the idiot that fuels rip-off Ireland.

It is nobody’s fault but mine.

Later that day, I was buying four tickets for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in the Olympia Theatre.

There was a €19.80 service charge applied by Ticketmaster. For the first time ever, I refused to be ripped off and instead we are all going to the zoo next week.

Most evenings while stuck on the M50, I usually text into my favourite radio programme, Newstalk’s ‘Off the Ball’. I blindly pay a premium text rate of 30c every time I do this.

Well, not anymore.

Sorry lads, but I am getting wise to rip-offs.

Our annual house insurance has been automatically renewed for the last seven years; my bill last year was €825.

A five minute phone call and my house insurance is now €430 a year. I feel liberated by my conscious decision not to be ripped off anymore.

This weekend I am going to see what Aldi and Lidl offer and when I come home I am going to switch credit cards.

As the correlation between poverty and ill-health has long been an academic cliche before the latest expensive report by the Institute of Public Health and the Combat Poverty Agency (Irish Independent, August 29), one may well ask why the causes of poverty have not been tackled by now. We need firm action to eliminate poverty for the greatest number of people.

Let’s start with reducing the cost of a very basic basket of groceries.

– Maynooth, Co. Kildare

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