630,000 left with no cash after paying bills
ALMOST two thirds of a million people have nothing left to spend after part or fully paying their monthly bills, according to a new survey.
The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) research, published today, shows 630,000 people either can't pay their household expenses or have nothing left after doing so.
A further one million have "very little" cash to spend on anything other than essentials after meeting their monthly commitments.
In all, more than half of those surveyed are falling behind on their bills, up from 42pc to 55pc in just three months.
Some 86pc said rising energy and fuel costs have had an adverse impact on their ability to spend.
The results don't augur well from the economy in 2012, indicating that consumers will further tighten their belts throughout the year.
In its final What's Left survey of 2011, the ILCU asked 1,000 respondents for details of their monthly spending.
Based on the results, it found 280,000 people -- or 8pc of the population -- cannot cover their bills.
In addition, 350,000 have nothing left after fully paying their household expenses.
The situation is so bad that one-in-three said they would opt out of their private health insurance policy if prices rose any further. About 6,000 people cancelled health policies each month last year.