Up to half of households report struggles with debts

New survey shows households cutting back on spending as economic downturn hits incomes

About 14 per cent of owner-occupied households were did not meet mortgage payments on at least one occasion in the previous 12 months as financial difficulties took hold.

About 14 per cent of owner-occupied households were did not meet mortgage payments on at least one occasion in the previous 12 months as financial difficulties took hold.

Thu, Aug 1, 2013, 12:55

Almost half of Irish households said they were finding it difficult to keep up with bills and debts, and the majority reported cutting back on spending as the effects of the economic downturn continued to impact the economy in the third quarter of the year.

More than 40 per cent of people questioned in the survey said they had difficulty keeping up with bills and debts, with a similar number expressing concern about the level of personal debt they had incurred.

Almost half of those in difficulty said it was due to loss of income, with three quarters blaming higher or additional costs.

Single parent households were under the most pressure, the data from the Central Statistics Office found, while utility bills were among those outgoings that were higher than expected.

Spending in pubs and restaurants was hit hardest by the cutbacks, with 66 per cent of households reporting to have reined in their expenditure in that category. That was followed by clothing and footwear, at 65 per cent, and 51 per cent of people said they were cutting back on grocery spending.

Of the households that use a car, a third said they had reduced their spending in this area.

About 14 per cent of owner-occupied households were did not meet mortgage payments on at least one occasion in the previous 12 months as financial difficulties took hold. Almost a fifth of rental households also failed to pay on time at least once.

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