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Hard up

Four in ten see 'no future for themselves' in Ireland - survey

More than half of households are now struggling to pay basic bills, according to new figures from the Irish League of Credit Unions.

FOUR IN TEN people in Ireland do not see a future for themselves in this country, according to a new survey from the Irish League of Credit Unions.

The survey paints a picture of families facing increasing difficulty in meeting basic household costs. Fifty-five per cent of respondents said it was a stretch to pay bills as they came due. Last September, the proportion was just 42 per cent.

Some 70 per cent of Irish people feel their disposable income – the amount they have left each month after paying for essentials – has fallen since last year.

And one-third of people said they would be better off on the dole if there is any reduction in the minimum wage.

Four in ten people say they may be forced to give up their health insurance due to financial pressures. Nine per cent told the ILCU they would likely stop paying for their insurance this year regardless, while 31 per cent said they would be forced to cut back if insurance costs rise further.

There is a widespread belief that 2012 will be an even more difficult year than 2011, with 83 per cent agreeing with this sentiment. Six per cent of people said they believe they will not be able to cope at all, and do not know what to do.

Kieron Brennan, chief executive of the ILCU, said: “As expected, fuel and energy price increases have had a significant impact on the spending ability of the Irish population.

“The increasing costs of private health insurance is a big concern for many families and our results show that a number of people will have to give it up this year because they can no longer afford it.”

The survey was carried out across 1,000 adults in the post-Budget period in December 2011.

More: One million people live on €70 or less a month after the bills are paid: survey>

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