Ireland’s Central Statistics Office Survey Reveals 96% of Consumers Worried About Cost of Living
Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) has published its ‘Our Lives Our Money’ Pulse Survey. The on-line survey was carried out between 27th October and 13th November 2022, and asked people in Ireland about their money concerns and their changing spending habits.
Of those surveyed, around 63% believe their financial situation has worsened since last year, while a further 64% believe their situation will get worse over the next 12 months.
The three primary areas of concern for respondents are utilities, healthcare, and having no savings/pension with a resounding 96% of respondents concerned about the current cost of living.
Some 35% of people said they are just getting by financially while 19% said they are short money every month to cover their expenses, and around 80% of people said they have experienced a decrease in disposable income in the last 12 months.
Almost every respondent (96%) said they had made cutbacks, with 62% cutting back on utilities such as electricity and heating, 51% buying less fuel, and 49% not buying as much food.
Of those who are in full-time employment, 30% of men are more likely to ask for a pay rise than just 20% of women as a way to counteract the cost-of-living increases. More than 40% of part-time employees said they went to work unwell to avoid any potential loss in wages.
When asked about non-essential costs and cutbacks, 53% of all respondents had reduced their trips to the cinema, theatre, or concerts, and 58% had reduced their expenditure on clothes, hairdressing, and beauty.
Around four in ten have reduced their spend on media subscriptions for services such as Spotify, Netflix, and newspapers, with nearly a quarter no longer spending as much on club subscriptions such as gyms and social clubs.
Different concerns were highlighted across different age groups. 45% of those aged over 70 said healthcare was their biggest concern, whereas those aged 60 to 69 were most likely to cut back on fuel (60%). Younger adults were concerned they couldn’t afford to start a family, with nearly three in ten 18- to 29-year-olds selecting this option. More than 57% of respondents aged 18 to 29 said they would consider emigrating to lower their cost of living. Those considering emigrating to lower their cost of living was similarly high among renters at 43%.
Results suggest respondents are conscious of the current rate of inflation at 9.2%, with 72% estimating the rate of inflation to be between 7% and 11%. Almost all (97%) of respondents had seen an increase in their weekly food shop, with a median or mid-point increase of €30 being reported by people.