Irish Examiner View: It's time to jingle all the way

Ireland's retailers and disadvantaged people alike ought to benefit from the nation's record €312.8bn in savings
Irish Examiner View: It's time to jingle all the way

Analysts project a bumper Christmas season for Ireland's retailers — both bricks-and-mortar and online — but a FLAC analysis has warned that many Irish people will be struggling with household debt. Stock picture

This time last year, Taoiseach Micheál Martin was talking about offering a “meaningful Christmas” by allowing inter-county travel and household visits. However, by the end of the year, Covid infections had reached an alarming rate, forcing the nation back into its tightest lockdown regime.

We must not allow that to happen again, even while we are told that retailers are hoping for a bumper Christmas as Irish households amassed billions in savings during the height of the pandemic — even more than during the Celtic Tiger era. 

New figures show households saved more than €31bn in 2020, bringing their financial net worth to an all-time high of €312.8bn. The level of savings has trebled since before the pandemic. 

Warning from FLAC

That extra cash in many people’s pockets should help put the jingle back in Christmas for retailers. However, a Free Legal Advice Centres report has warned that rising inflation, higher energy costs, the PUP being phased out, and the wage subsidy scheme’s eventual removal will put a lot of people under pressure on household debt. 

Charities and non-profit organisations that aid the poor, the homeless, and those with addiction problems need a bit of our jingle, too.

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