Irish parents pay the most in Europe for ‘free’ education

Despite operating a system of “free education”, Irish people spend a greater proportion of their income on schooling than other Europeans, according to a new study.


Education is described as “free” in Ireland, but it is, in fact, particularly expensive because of the cost of books, uniforms, resource materials, “voluntary” contributions at primary and secondary level, and registration fees at third level.


Education accounts for 2.6% of household expenditure in Ireland, more than twice the European Union average of 1.1%, according to Eurostat. The statistics service has found that Irish households spend a larger proportion of their outgoings on education than their counterparts in any of the other 22 countries for which data was available.


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