As Dublin becomes increasingly more expensive to live in should people in the city be paid more than their rural colleagues?

Taking into account housing and transport prices, the cost of living in Dublin is higher than in the rest of the country. Calls are now being made for a salary weighting for the capital.

While house prices vary greatly throughout the country, salaries remain the same, particularly in the public sector. Even in the private sector, salaries in Dublin do not keep up with the cost of living.

The average house is over €100,000 more expensive in Dublin than elsewhere in the country.

According to Maurice Carr of BDO Simpson Xavier, there is at least a twenty five per cent different in salaries between Dublin and the rest of the country. However, he says this by no means compensates for the difference in the cost of living. It is not just the cost of housing where the difference lies, the disparity extends to all aspects of living.

I don't think the wages are really reflecting the cost of living in Dublin.

A number of trade unions are now saying that Dublin workers need to be paid more than their colleagues outside of Dublin.

Dave Hughes of the Irish Nurses Organisation says that Ireland could replicate a system similar to the weighting allowance in London. If this system was applied to Dublin, salaries would increase by between three and five thousand euro per annum.

Pat Delaney of the Small Firms Association takes a different view. A Dublin weighting would fail to tackle the root of the problem and says it would create a rural urban divide. Employment needs to be provided nearer to where people live throughout the country.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 July 2004. The reporter is Anna Murphy.