One in five left with only €70 after bills paid, survey reveals


JUST ONE out of five Irish residents feel they have enough money left over each month after paying their essential bills to enjoy themselves.

A survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions found that 60 per cent of people reckon they are living to work rather than working to live.

It noted that almost 70 per cent felt their level of disposable income was lower now than a year earlier, which reflected changes to tax levels as well as rising utility and transport costs.

More than one in five respondents (21 per cent) said they had just €70 disposable income left to spend at the end of each month after their bills were covered.

Of those, some 74 per cent feared they would be unable to meet their commitments should social welfare payments be cut further or income tax increased.

The What’s Leftsurvey found that 6 per cent of people did not have an income sufficient to cover their essential bills. A further 7 per cent said they had nothing left to live on once their essential bills were paid off.

The nationwide representative survey of 1,000 people aged over 18 was conducted by iReach market research between March 24th and April 1st.

Irish League of Credit Union’s chief executive Kieron Brennan said it was becoming increasingly apparent that Irish families were struggling financially.

“We have just seen an ECB rate increase last week, which is likely to push families and individuals further into mortgage difficulties and arrears,” he said.

Some 83 per cent of respondents said they were worried about how they would cope if an unforeseen expense should arise.

Mortgage and rent payments were regarded as the most important bills by 72 per cent of respondents to the survey.

Utilities, at 55 per cent, were seen as the second most important followed by groceries (51 per cent); car payments (26 per cent); loan repayments (25 per cent); credit cards (25 per cent); and health insurance (24 per cent).

One in 10 of those surveyed who had a job said they were unable to make ends meet, with 5 per cent struggling to cover their essential bills each month.

Some 36 per cent of respondents did not see a future for themselves or their family in the State.

More than half of those with dependent children were unlikely to have money to save.