A haircut is a necessity and barbering is a skill which requires training and was a guilded trade in times past.
A trip to the barber is part of the consumer index in the monitoring of inflation rates. In Ireland the average price for a dry-cut by what you assume is an experienced professional is 10 euro.
When you look into this you notice some discrepancies. In Madrid for example the average cost is 25 euro but the minimum wage is the same as Ireland. In Delhi the average cost is 9 euro but the average wage is much lower.
The reason according to one barber, Terry Barr proprietor of Parnell Barbers in Dublin City Centre is that the Irish refuse to pay a higher price for a trim. He also highlighted another problem in these recessionary times, people entering a business which isn’t specifically legislated for.
By Terry’s record in 2005 there was 36 people cutting hair in the D1 area and by 2009 the number had increased to 78. In the same time the price of a dry-cut has almost halved. Terry had at one stage 5 staff but has let them all go and struggles to remain open.
“Several people have come into the area, rented small retail space in large units and are selling haircuts for 5 euro” says Terry. This is evident on Moore Street and on Mary Street. Terry feels with such a low price these hair-cutters are not taking out public liability insurance or paying VAT.
Upon inspection of what can best be described as partitioned floor-space you find one office chair and a house-hold extension cable providing electricity. When I informed the people running these places, all appearing to be non-EU nationals, that I am a journalist and asked questions regarding their status in the country, their public liability insurer and their VAT registration number I was firmly asked to leave.
With other more reputable looking premises this reporter noticed over months a lack of customers but always displaying staff wanted signs. With a requirement to only pay VAT on earnings over €37,500 and no regulatory body keeping checks, these businesses could be used for money laundering.