Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Irish Credit Union survey says one in four have €20 to live on

A recent survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions found that one-in-four Irish people had less than €20 a week to live on, after they had paid their bills. Now I don't know what the methodology of the survey was, nor the sample of people interviewed, but it certainly is a shocking statistic.

Then Superquinn went into receivership on Monday, only to be snapped up by wholesale giant Musgraves - a development greeted with a sigh of relief by the chain store's workers.  Job losses, however are still to be expected. 

Nothing, of course, to do with weekend and shift pay entitlements for poorly paid workers; but everything to do with bad property-based investment decisions made by Superquinn during the boom.  A flagship store in Balfgriffin, for instance - now a ghost estate.

Lately, we have been treated to a steady drip-feed of job announcements from the coalition Government.  Fine Gael / Labour have been playing it quite well - Enda Kenny's Roscommon Hospital Cockup aside.  They certainly know a bit about choreography, and are making the most of the fact that they are not Fianna Fail. 

So (comparatively) slick are they, that I would not be surprised if they get a reduction in Ireland's bailout interest rate soon, as part of a new overall EU-wide deal, if recent pronouncements by Olli Rehn are any guide.

If they do, however, it will not mean the scrapping of the Universal Social Charge and the postponement of a raft of extra taxes and charges in the next Budget.   It will just mean Enda and the boys and girls can look good about it all.

The one-in-four people struggling for life's basic necessities are unlikely to notice much difference.

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13 comments:

anna said...

if millions and millions is saved in a new bail out deal Don't forget the closed/ threatened hospitals:

Closed- Louth, Roscommon
Under constant threat Even From The Celtic Tiger Years!-Monaghan
Threatened: Portlaoise, Navan.
(Remind me why we got rid of the Brits??)

Totally agree GM man-any money we claw back should go to lower taxes for working poor- AND save our hospitals- not bankers.

Anthony said...

That's a shocking statistic. Those people are really living, as the say in the States "from paycheck to paycheck". There's no margin for extra expenses, sickness, etc. My guess is that with government cutbacks, it will only get worse before it gets better

Anonymous said...

This new government seem to be worse than the last, more cuts, more taxes, increases in household bills, no wage increases for the normal worker, no jobs!

Where do FG/LB propose I and the many other families like me that are struggling as it is across the country find the extra cash for what is coming? I've seen a cut in my working hours, my wife lost her job 4 months ago, she can't get a job anywhere at the minute as she is having to compete with the other few thousand that is unemployed in our town for the few jobs that are available.

Our mortgage has gone up (we can just about manage the payments at the minute), we have two children in school and the back to school items are a small fortune, thankfully our parents have help us out with that. That said in this day and age we in our late 30's should not have to be going to our 60 - 70 year old parents looking for financial help with our children's back to school items.

I can just about manage to keep on top of everything at present, sometimes a bill goes unpaid and I find myself ringing up and explaining to them you'll get it next week or half now and the other half over the next few weeks. But if we are faced with more taxes etc... it's bad enough waiting on the electricity and gas increases to come into effect, I don't know what we are going to do, Xmas for the kids will have to take a hit no doubt and I don't want to explain to them that Santa's workshop is in recession or he missed the house.

We have worked hard for years and have always paid for everything up front, we didn't go mad during the boom years, we bought an average size 3 bedroom house that didn't break the bank and we could afford the repayments comfortably till recently and now look at where we are now.

Thank you FF, thank you FG/LB, thank you EU/IMF for turning our life into one big day to day worry!

Dakota said...

While these figures tell a sad and despairing tale, a tale I fully sympathise with GM, there's something not adding up.
Where are all the marches? Where is the disgruntled majority? Where is the dispossed minority? Why is there not a whisper from Paddy and Mary (apart from the obligitory rant on the radio)? Put simply why was there not a wimper when the USC was introduced (incidently to pay for rogue bankers, property developers and the ilks cigars). Where is the pressure been applied from, to get government to reform all public and semi state joke systems? The answer to all of the above is nil, nada, none, nothing, zilch, zero. Ireland alas is a parallel universe.

Unfortunately, it was obvious in the first month of this government's term in office.
Sovereignty is gone, GM, the Troika call the shots now. Having said that, the coalition could do an awful lot more to put pressure on the puppeteers. BUT this is Ireland...............
Accountability is a dirty word. Nobody REALLY gives a toss.
Why? Em, governance apart, why does there seem to exist a very sizable section of Irish society, that are nothing more than mobbish in nature (the hint is in the word mob, by the way)? It's not rocket science. The present reality is just a continuation, a justification of the inevitable...It's cultural.

Drive the roads you will see all you need to see, too many rogues, nastiness is a way of life now.....The caring sharing Irish are long, long gone. Ireland now is nothing more than more than a marketing campaign.

Anonymous said...

A whopping 1000 people were surveyed and extrapolated to represent the entire country of 3.5 million, so what do you think is the error margin in this survey?

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Anna. Yes, when they get their lower interest rate/longer terms, what will they do with the "extra" cash?

@ Anthony. All feel-good talk on RTE tonight- even a net jobs loss was made to sound like an increase with jobs going in Dublin and a smaller number being provided in Limerick. Wait until after the announcement on Thursday. Some people still believe we can return to the credit-fuelled "halcyon days" of the boom!!!!

@ Anon 11:38. Sorry to hear about your experiences - you're not alone, though that's not much consolation. I hope your other half gets sorted out work-wise. And yes, FG/Lab have done little for working people. Bruton's attack on retail/catering workers is the clearest example of that, the little shit. Excuse me. It's like that old Anarchist slogan: "Whoever you vote for, Government wins"...

@ Dakota. Yes - how baaaahd do things have to get?

@ Anon 21:27. Sure, surveys are always open to question. As I mentioned, I don't know how big the sample was or what the methodology was. Where did you get that figure of 1000, do you mind me asking?

Anonymous said...

It's on the actual page the report is published on:

'The survey was conducted by Market Research Company iReach during the period of June 2011 using the iReach Consumer Decisions Research Panel which delivered 1,000 responses from adults in Ireland aged 18+ to 65+ and is nationally representative by Age, Region, Gender and Social Class.'

http://www.creditunion.ie/communications/news/2010/title,1505,en.php

I'd be more inclined to believe people are pissed off they don't have more money for the old 'entertainment' budget.

A quick look on at 'Money Makeover' on AAM will show plenty of people 'struggling to make ends meet' yet spending 100 pm on mobile bills, 80pm on essentials like sky sports, and sure you have to have the odd takeaway for a treat.

I'm sure there's genuine cases but we are talkin' 'bout 'Gombeen Nation'.

The Gombeen Man said...

I couldn't find the report itself.

Thanks for that.

anna said...

This is a bit off topic- but for Once an Irish politician stood up for what is right and decent, against evil forces in our society, and stood up for ordinary working class*( * these scum Never got round to abusing kids in Belveder or Clongowes wood schools ) abused kids and their families:

Good Man Enda! WELL DONE.

( Now Alan, James and Ruari use your powers to just Taek all the schools and hsopitals off them)

Anonymous said...

This is rubbish. I have a wife and a child. I have been on the dole for 3 years. We live on a meagre 2,000 per month. We live in south dublin, in an area we should not be able to afford -- a three minute walk to the luas, and a 20 minute walk to the city centre. My kid has a taste for Playmobil and Lego sets. Do you know what they cost? We can afford them despite what the child benefit has been cut to, to keep it available to people (voters) who don't need it.

Our rent alone represents a bit more than 40% of our income.

We do not eat out in ireland; you can spend a fortune on food but it is still rubbish prepared by retarded dustmen. We don't waste money on M&S or Lawler's, because they sell only overpriced irish rubbish; *cheap* irish rubbish is no worse.

We do not possess an automobile, or its painful costs in tax, insurance, parking, fuel, repairs, maintenance, and depreciation.

We have no 60 inch plasma or LED TV. We have no TV at all. My kid doesn't need to be brainwashed by the vapid drivel it would flood the house with.

I stay out of the pubs. No one there has anything to say to me that i might wish to remember.

We have saved enough money in the past 3 years to take our first holiday since i was made redundant. We are going to canada for two weeks, to see how people live when they actually have self respect, unlike us irish. I am sure my lad will find it instructive.

If you can't make it in ireland, with our welfare system, you are a greedy, mindless oaf, and probably a chain-smoking drunk. Live within your means, and you will get by just fine. Maybe better than fine, if you have half a brain.

Oh, right; we also have zero consumer debt, and we were not stupid enough to climb on the bullshit "property ladder". We knew it was bullshit.

If you did not, who is to blame for that?

thomas

Anonymous said...

Anna, a very important topic. But I sense enda is only trying to deflect attention from the economy, where he and his are out of their depth but can't admit it.

What nationality were all those abusive bishops, priests, nuns, and monks? No other western country has produced so many sadists and sexual degenerates (proportionally). Actually, not even a small fraction of the number that we've produced.

Remember bertie's weasel apology? "If only we had known..." And here is enda, trying to lay blame on the vatican. Pardon me, enda, but i missed the part where we had a flood of priests come over from vatican city and rape our kids for us. This is *our* disgrace. *We* did this. Irish society is sick.

As far as the church debacle goes, all i hear is people denying facts and looking for scapegoats. But so long as we keep insisting that someone else is to blame, we will never fix anything. The vatican can be our next britain: a fresh excuse to drown in self pity and point fingers while ireland sinks to its traditional position as europe's broken little embarrassment.

I mean, €85 *billion* in loans? It will be decades before that gets paid. We are sponging off our children. And what sort of people do that? The same sort who f#&% their children.

thomas

albert hall said...

God Bless Ireland. Yesterday signalled a step in the right direction. However, with its Euro exchange rate so high it is going to be an uphill struggle to sell its products abroad. I had two Irish over from Ireland visit me in England yesterday. They could not understand how their Euro money was going nowhere even with the low prices in the UK of pints and grub.While here I took them to France for the day. Four in the car through the Tunnel for £40 return.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 21:27. A sample of 1,000 is methodologically robust enough to translate to the wider population. The margin of error for that sample size is around 3%. A bigger sample size and the mark of error drops. So, the sample size isn't a problem and conclusions drawn from it should be able to withstand standard critiques.