585,000 see no future in this country

MORE than half a million people see no future for their family in this country, as figures show a rise in those who are broke after paying their monthly bills.

The number of those who don’t have enough each month to cover essential bills has gone up by 70,000 since March.

A survey found that 8%, or 280,000, believe that their income does not even cover bills like mortgage and electricity.

About 7%, or 245,000, have nothing left after paying their essential bills each month, while 23% or 805,000 have just €70 left. These figures from the June survey are both up on the March findings.

About 1.2 million people have less disposable income left after paying their bills than this time last year, while close to half of Irish people are late paying at least one bill per month.

In the last survey, 36%, or 428,000 people, did not see a future for themselves or their family in this country. However, this has now risen to 45% or 585,000.

The iReach survey for the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) found that 82%, or one million adults, fear about coping if further changes to income tax or welfare are introduced.

The survey found that 806,000 people feel they are living to work as opposed to working to live.

However, the latest results have not factored in the July interest rate hike and in March one-in-five people said that a hike would have a serious effect on their ability to pay bills.

Director of moneycoach.ie Frank Conway said the report’s findings should leave “little doubt” about how difficult it has become for so many people to pay for basic necessities.

“In respect of future expectations, citizens are increasingly left to feel they are on their own as they face a dangerous cocktail of tax hikes and budget cuts.

“Many people continue reducing debts and where possible, saving. These have become the only tools they have left as they prepare for an uncertain future.”

Mr Conway said the great consumer boom, which was driven by debt, is over and is unlikely ever to return.

“We now require immediate action to lay the legal framework to deal with those who, as a result of falling incomes and rising indebtedness, require alternative solutions,” he said.

The survey also found that 12% of those in jobs cannot make ends meet, which is up from 10% in March.

Also, 6% of those working are not able to cover essential bills, while a further 6% have nothing left after paying their essential bills.

The economic situation is also having an impact on people’s ability to save on a regular basis, with almost half saying that they are unlikely to be able to do so.

Chief executive of the Irish League of Credit Unions Kieron Brennan said: “In the past three months, since the March tracker, there has been an ECB rate increase and the announcement that charges for water, property and septic tanks are to be introduced at the beginning of the new year. Like our tracker in March, this second round is a further indication of just how hard the ordinary people of Ireland are being hit by increasing household expenses.”

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