My aunt and uncle recently visited from Derry. They’d been washed out at the Laytown races and, disappointed with the lack of decent food options on offer, decided to come straight down and pick up a bag of fish and chips.
Although I’ve whined about the cost of of a bag of chips, we do take the price of what my aunt and uncle called a “fish supper”, for granted: it’ll set you back the guts of €20 for two people.
They were astonished, genuinely surprised, and flabbergasted. They’re both smart people, and my uncle has a firm grasp on economics, having taught it for umpteen years. You could, he rightly pointed out, get a steak for that price. In fairness, he said that the fish was pretty good, but still felt that over €17 for some takeaway fish and chips was too much to pay – and significantly cheaper up north.
It got me thinking. Now, I know that our economic problems and miserable unemployment have far more to do with our terrifyingly inept government shoveling our money to their mates in the bank than our cost base. But is the price of fish and chips a barometer of overcharging in Ireland? Bear in mind that they’ve barely fallen in the past few years, half price promotions aside. A sign that we need to lower our cost base? Or is €17, all things considered, a fair price?