More than a fifth of consumers can’t afford holiday – KBC

Spending on holidays grew twice as fast as overall increase in consumer spending

Some 26 per cent of women said they couldn’t afford a holiday this year compared to 19 per cent of men. Photograph: iStock

Some 26 per cent of women said they couldn’t afford a holiday this year compared to 19 per cent of men. Photograph: iStock

 

More than a fifth of Irish consumers are unable to afford a holiday this year, suggesting that a substantial volume of households are still struggling financially, according to analysis from KBC economist Austin Hughes.

While almost 70 per cent of consumers say they plan to take a holiday this year, 31 per cent won’t, with the vast majority (22 per cent) saying they can’t afford to take a holiday.

KBC found that 28 per cent of those in social grades C2DE’s – typically defined as “working class” say they can’t afford to take a holiday compared to 16 per cent of ABC1’s – usually defined as “middle class”.

Additionally, it showed that 30 per cent of those who left education at lower second level said they couldn’t afford a holiday in 2019 compared to 14 per cent of those with degree level or higher.

Gender income gap

On gender, the analysis appeared to back up outcomes consistent with studies pointing to a significant gender income gap. Some 26 per cent of women said they couldn’t afford a holiday this year compared to 19 per cent of men. And where age is concerned, it was those in the 55-64 bracket that said they had the biggest problem.

Despite some negativity for a cohort of households, Mr Hughes’s analysis indicated that spending on holidays grew twice as fast as the overall increase in consumer spending.

“The survey suggests that those who take holidays take three holidays each on average while more than one in five Irish people don’t take any holiday because of financial constraints,” Mr Hughes said.