Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Budget blues

Budget 2018 is the big news in Ireland this week, with few people very happy with the contents of Paschal Donohoe’s document. The Irish Independent’s Sinead Ryan has collated the five main consumer-related issues from Budget 2018, from more expensive cigarettes to a boost for the parents of young children.

“Families with toddlers will be pleased at the extra allocation to the ECCE year meaning more creches may sign up to the programme, which now offers sessional montessori for a full 2 years,” she notes.

Musgrave cyber attack

In other news, reports on a cyber attack on Musgraves, which owns the SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak chains. The group has confirmed that malicious software attempted to extract debit and credit card number and expiry date information from its system.

Gardaí and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner have been notified, and customers are being advised to check their bank statements.

“The protection of information is an absolute priority for Musgrave,” the company said in a statement. “The company aims to ensure that security standards are maintained at the highest levels and apologises to its customers for this issue.”

Switch and save

Finally, the Irish Examiner notes that thousands of Irish households could be missing out on savings by switching energy providers. Evelyn Ring highlights the results of a survey of 9,000 households by the Big Cost of Living Switch campaign, which found that just 6% are receiving electricity discounts of over 10% when discounts of up to 30% are currently available.

With gas and electricity prices set to rise, consumers are being urged to take advantage of these price reductions.

“At the end of last month, Bord Gáis Energy and Airtricity announced energy price increases that could see consumers worse off by as much as €83 over the next 12 months. The increases are in addition to an increased compulsory public service obligation levy, adding about €25 to every bill,” Ring writes.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.