David McWilliams: There will be no relief for the squeezed middle

How can their income tax bills be cut if the costs of education and health are going up?

At the end of the month, the squeezed middle has no money left. Photograph: iStock

At the end of the month, the squeezed middle has no money left. Photograph: iStock

The price of third-level education has risen by 131 per cent since 2005, while the price of computer games has fallen by 63 per cent. The cost of clothes has fallen dramatically in the past decade and a half, while the cost of healthcare has risen exorbitantly. The price of furniture is much lower now than it was at the height of the boom, yet the price of childcare has gone up by 34 per cent.

These are the latest trends in prices and costs in Ireland. What is the reason for these huge disparities and what does this mean for the economy, the electorate and the political cycle?

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