Vast difference in price for dental and doctor care

Deal of the week

Currys clearly know how to bear a grudge and is giving customers planning on upgrading their television in time for the World Cup an added reason to hope the French are turfed out early on. Depending on the size of television you buy, Currys will give you a voucher worth up to €100 (for a 43-inch television; €50 for 40- to 42-inch televisions and €25 for televisions between 32 and 37 inches) which is redeemable in the three days following France's ejection from the tournament. Should France actually win, the voucher can be claimed within three days of the final. You must buy your television before 9 June to qualify.

Tip of the week

If you were planning on taking a package holiday this year but are worried about the possible impact of the volcanic ash, remember that while your tour operator has the right to cancel your package as a result of an act of God, you are entitled to a refund or replacement holiday of equivalent or superior quality. Where a holiday of inferior quality is offered, you are entitled to a refund of the difference in price. Either way, you shouldn't lose out should the worst happen.

Bad value of the week

A National Consumer Agency survey highlighted the lack of transparency and huge differences in the prices charged by doctors and dentists throughout the country last week. Depending on where you live, you could be paying twice as much for the same service – if you go to the doctor in Tralee or Killarney it will cost you as little as €35 but in Ballsbridge or Sandymount you could hand over a ridiculous €70. A routine examination at the dentist was actually free in some places but on Dublin's southside, someone is charging €86. Those are extraordinary differences. The NCA is calling on doctors and dentists to be clearer about their charges so that consumers can make an informed choice. Rightly so.

Recession rates

Child benefit Previously known as 'children's allowance'.

Paid to the guardians of children under 16 years of age or under 18 if the child is in full time education, Fás, or has a disability.

There are special grants for people who have multiple births.

2010 rates:

One child: €150

Two children: €300

Three children: €487

Four children: €674

Five children: €861

Average creche costs: approximately €800 a month for which there is no allowance or write-off.