A 50c rise on cigarettes brought the average pack of 20 to E4.75. A general rise in spirits included a 35c rise on a bottle of alcopop, reflecting government concern at the scale of teenage drinking.
Delivery costs in the food sector will be forced up by a 3c/litre rise on diesel, said hauliers. Retailers face costlier heating as a result of a 1% rise in the lower VAT rate, now 13.5%.
"These measures are fuelling inflation, already the highest in the EU," said RGDATA director general Ailish Forde. "An electricity price rise was recently announced, now this VAT change will mean another rise."